A new era in under 18 football will begin in 2019 with the introduction of the NAB League.
NAB, a long-time partner of the NAB AFL Rising Star Program in Australia, will further support the future stars of the game, extending its partnership with the AFL to the next exciting phase of the expanded under 18 competition, that now includes teams from Victoria, Tasmania, Northern Territory, NSW/ACT and Queensland.
With a focus to provide further support in education, wellbeing, high performance and coaching, the NAB League will help increase opportunities for talented footballers to reach their potential both on and off the field.
It will also help better prepare the athletes that don’t get drafted, returning to local clubs and schools as peer leaders who set examples.
In a significant development for the national sport, the Tasmanian Devils will be a fully-fledged NAB League team in 2019, while an Academy Series featuring five northern state squads will take part in the lead up to the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
AFL Head of Talent Pathways & State League Competitions, Tristan Salter, welcomed NAB’s involvement with the next chapter of growth in the under 18 pathway.
“NAB has been a fantastic supporter of our AFL talent pathways for 18 years now and it is exciting that they will extend their support and be naming rights partner for this new era,” Mr Salter said.
“Over 1,000 AFL and AFLW players, including the likes of Dustin Martin, Chloe Molloy, Gary Ablett Jnr and Madison Prespakis, have been drafted from Victoria’s under 18 competitions – with 2018 producing more than 50 percent of the boys (62%) and girls (59%) talent at the NAB AFL and AFLW Drafts.
“We welcome Tasmania to the competition in what will be the start of the team’s journey towards a return to the VFL competition.”
In a step forward for footy fans, a revamped digital platform, highlighted by the official NAB League app, will offer insights never before seen from the competition.
“The dedicated NAB League app will provide our audience with live information at their fingertips, from stats to game vision and match highlights,” Mr Salter said.
“The increased digital access to the competition and its players will help our audience learn more about our draft prospects across the entire season, not just around draft time.”
NAB’s Head of Media and Partnerships, Thomas Dobson said, “We’re thrilled to extend our longstanding AFL partnership with the introduction of the NAB League. As a proud partner of NAB AFL Auskick and the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, the NAB League sees us further support the development pathways for young footballers and to help grow the game. We look forward to seeing the competition kick off in March.”
NAB will be joined by four further partners to bring in the new era of the NAB League, with Telstra, PUMA, Open Universities Australia (OUA) and The Bar Counter aiming to elevate the league to be the number one under age sporting competition in the country.
The NAB League girls’ competition begins on March 2 with the boys to start March 23. The NAB League app will launch mid-March.
CLICK HERE for the full 2019 NAB League fixtures
Puma was introduced into Australia (and to VFL) in 1970. Puma was the first International branded boots made specifically for Australian Football and was made locally in Australia and supported by a full range of imported running shoes. Puma International has been making football boots since 1948. The longest serving franchise in football boot history is the Puma KING which hit the pitch at the 1966 World Cup worn by Eusebio who won the golden boot and player of the tournament.
Puma is proud to continue its association and support of AFL Football and the new NAB League, the future of the game.
About Open Universities Australia (OUA)
OUA is the national leader in online higher education, offering students the ability to choose from more than 1,600 subjects and hundreds of degree programs from leading Australian universities.
OUA enables access to quality higher education for everyone from anywhere, regardless of previous study experience, enriching the lives of people, their families and their communities. Visit open.edu.au
About The Bar Counter
A delicious range of healthy snack bars from the best combination of premium ingredients, The Bar Counter are thrilled to be the Nutrition Partner of the NAB League. We are excited to share our product range with the No. 1 underage sporting competition in Australia and their families. We look forward to forming a successful and long-lasting partnership and wish all the players and clubs the best of luck for the year ahead.