Football Development

Take your game to the next level in the Football Development Program.

The Carlton College of Sport Football Development Program is an opportunity for any footballer keen to take their game to the next level, to spend a year undertaking an AFL level football development program at the Carlton Football Club, while simultaneously attaining a tertiary qualification in Sport Business, Sport Science or Coaching and Development.

The program, created by Carlton Football Club high performance staff, is designed to complement the normal training activities of developing footballers while ensuring they are prepared for life outside of the game.

For more information about the Football Development Program, download the program flyer here.


The program will run both a male and female stream.



NAB League, State League or Community level footballers.


Anyone who wants to take their football performance to the next level.


Torin Baker

Torin Baker

Carlton College of Sport & Academy Pathway Coach

Ash Naulty

Ash Naulty

Carlton College Coach and VFL Football Operations Coordinator

Maddy Prespakis

Maddy Prespakis

Carlton College of Sport and Academy Pathway Assistant Coach

Steve Moore

Steve Moore

Carlton College, AFLW and Academy Strength and Conditioning Coordinator

how does it work?

Individuals undertaking the Football Development Program will spend 1-1.5 days a week at the Carlton Football Club, undertaking a range of football development activities including but not limited to:

  • Strength and conditioning
  • Recovery
  • Injury rehabilitation 
  • Craft and skills training
  • 1:1 individual development coaching with the Carlton College of Sport coaches

These activities will be aligned to individual abilities and conducted in consultation with coaching staff from respective home clubs and teams. 

Participating individuals will then attend classes at the Carlton College of Sport on three additional days, allowing access to facilities and coaching staff across the remainder of the week. The program will run from February to November to encompass both the football season and academic calendar.

Download a sample weekly timetable here.


If you are a footballer who is keen to train in a high-performance environment at the Carlton Football Club, apply for the Football Development Program for 2022!


  1. Apply for the Football Development Program here. Include a short personal statement that includes a brief football overview addressing who you play for, what position you play, your strengths and weaknesses, awards won, representative teams and your motivations for applying to the program and football aspirations.
  2. Apply for either academic diploma via VTAC or direct through La Trobe University following the instructions here.
  3. Interviews will be held following the submission of your application.

A Typical Week

Proposed Football Development and Class Schedule

Click here to download a sample timetable for a student enrolled in the Football Development Program. Timetables will vary depending on choice of academic study but can be expected to be reasonably similar to the example provided.

2022 Program Structure

The Football Development Program will run from February – November in 2022 and will follow this structure:


  • February: Screening and Orientation
  • March – June: In season training
  • August: Intermittent sessions and progress follow-up
  • October – November: Preparation for pre-season training

Home Club Integration

The Carlton College of Sport Football Development program is designed to develop all areas of participants games but will include specific focus on target areas of the individual. To that end, Carlton College of Sport coaching and strength and conditioning staff will be in consistent contact with key personnel (coaches and fitness coaches) at players’ home clubs, to ensure the development program undertaken at Carlton is in-line with the feedback and focus areas being identified by an individual’s coach. Equally, physical training and match load and will be monitored by Carlton College of Sport high performance staff (through GPS and player feedback) to ensure that additional development activities are complementary to normal training and periodised accordingly.

Program Outcomes

After a year undertaking the football development program, participants can expect to have developed a better understanding of their own game as well as tactics and strategies used by elite footballers to continue to work on areas of improvement. Physically, they will have spent a year in a high-performance environment, using AFL standard facilities to recover from and prepare for games, gaining an understanding of what preparation looks like at the top level of the sport. Individualised strength and conditioning programs will ensure participants are improving areas of physical deficiency and reducing the risk of injury. Injured students will have access to recovery and rehabilitation support typically only available to full time athletes.

Academically, participants will leave with a Higher Education Diploma from La Trobe University – a tertiary qualification that will allow immediate employment opportunities or direct entry into the second year of bachelor programs at La Trobe. Additional qualifications such as certificate 3 and 4 in fitness (personal training) are also included in the program, depending on course selection.

Academic Coursework

Diploma of Sport Coaching and Development – equivalent to the first year of a Bachelor of Sport Coaching and Development with the ability upon successful completion to move into the second year of a Sport and Exercise Science degree as well. Coursework is designed to produce the next generation of leaders in sport, be that in the coaches box, in the gym or behind the scenes – students will learn principles of exercise programming, study sport management and put into practice the fundamentals of coaching. The program is ideal for an aspiring footballer looking to strengthen their understanding of what drives elite performance both at an individual and a group level.

Diploma of Elite Sport Business – comprising 8 first year Bachelor of Business units, students have the ability upon graduation to move directly into a range of broad business and sport business areas of study. Coursework is designed to produce the next generation of off-field sports leaders ready to tackle the challenges facing the team that supports the team. Students will learn the fundamentals of the business of sport, including management, marketing and media all within a high-performance environment, allowing real understanding of the resources and systems required to support professional sporting organisations. The program is ideal for an aspiring footballer who is interested in the operations of sport beyond the boundary.

Entry Requirements

Academically, applicants must have met La Trobe Universities minimum academic standards to gain entry to a Carlton College of Sport Diploma, which is the successful completion of year 12 or equivalent and a passing grade in English. More information on academic entry requirements can be found on our Diploma coursework pages.

Applicants will also be required to undertake an interview with Carlton FC staff to determine their suitability for the program. Applicants who do not qualify academically can explore alternative pathways into the program through discussion with CCoS staff. Places are limited to ensure high quality development outcomes for participants.

Fees and costs

Course Fees
Carlton College of Sport Diploma coursework is charged at $21,000* for a full years study & extracurricular activity (Football Development Program) – a cost which is fully deferrable under the Australian Governments FEE-HELP program.

Carlton College of Sport courses are categorised as Employer Reserved Place’s at La Trobe University and therefore are eligible for the Australian Governments FEE-HELP program. In essence, a 1-year diploma at the Carlton College of Sport will accrue a study debt of $20,000*, payable progressively as part of taxable income once a student has gainful employment earning in excess of $51,956^ annually. Students are not required to pay any amount upfront unless they choose not to defer their program fees.

For more information, please see Paragraph 36-15 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

* 2020 course fee cost. ^2018/19 threshold.

Other Inclusions

  • Uniform and training attire
  • Program equipment
  • Individual GPS Unit
  • Strength and Conditioning Program Software
  • Physiotherapy assessment & Massage
  • Partner discounts i.e. PUMA boots 

Places are limited.

Register your interest to find out more.

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