Skill Acquisition Phase Program (SAP)

SAP Player Portal:

All players involved in the program click here to access the portal for your homework skill videos and an introduction to the focus of each training week. Enjoy!

What is the SAP?

A key aspect of the Football Federation Australia National Curriculum is the implementation of a Skill Acquisition Phase program (SAP) to perfect and accelerate the skill development of both Boys and Girls at the critical ages of 9 to 13. This age group is universally acknowledged to be the optimal mental and physical phase in which children learn motor skills.

The most critical aspect of the SAP is the training environment created by the club and coaches as well as the training plan and sessions provided by the Head of Skill Acquisition at FFV. Implemented appropriately, players should experience a positive, fun and engaging session. After working on specific skills and principles a Gala Day is generally conducted to allow players the opportunity to apply these things against other SAP clubs, generally occurring after each 8 week cycle/training block.


  1. To ensure players have the necessary technical ‘tools’ or functional game skills (shown below), so that they have an improved opportunity to play at a higher level whilst continuing to develop a love for the game.
  1. To assist clubs in the development of players and coaches, with a view to ensuring the longevity and quality of teams that will progress through the club.


The Skill Acquisition Phase program focuses on the development of four core (functional game) skills:

  • Striking the ball (Passing/Shooting/Crossing/Heading)
  • First Touch (Receiving)
  • 1v1 (Attack and Defence)
  • Running with the ball

Positioning and Communication amongst other Key Principles of the game underpin every session in connection with the core skills shown above.

Who can be involved in the SAP?

Any boy or girl aged U9-U12 who is currently registered with a club recognised as an affiliated SAP club*. A club may decide to offer this to players and have coaches willing to apply the SAP methodology as long as they meet the minimum criteria below.

  • No additional cost to players/parents.*
  • Nominated club member to be SAP Club Co-ordinator who will complete all administrative duties.
  • Coaches for SAP teams must hold a current Skill Training Certificate accreditation or higher.
  • SAP teams will follow the season plan and sessions designed by the Head of Skill Acquisition at FFV (or approved club season plan and sessions).
  • Coaches registered on MyFootballClub with their respective club and team.

*WNPL and Regional NPL Clubs/Associations have the opportunity to run the SAP for players outside of their club at a capped cost of no more than $10 per session across the entirety of the program. 

After each year clubs will have to re-apply to be recognised as a SAP club. It is intended that the program is delivered to the desired format and philosophy, which will be taken into consideration when reviewing applications each year.

The programs intention is to allow any player who displays a desire to learn and improve be supported no matter their current ability. Current ability should not be prioritised over potential ability with a long-term approach toward player development encouraged. It is critical therefore, to ensure that all players are in an environment that suits their specific needs that SAP clubs recognise and can hopefully meet.

FFV SAP Affiliated Clubs:

The following clubs will be delivering the Skill Acquisition Program in 2017:

Alamein FC
Ashburton SC
Avondale FC
Bayside United FC
Bendigo City FC
Castlemaine GoldFields FC
Darebin Women's Sporting Club
Geelong Galaxy United
Geelong Rangers
Gippsland FC
Glen Eira FC
Goulburn Valley Suns
Green Gully FC
Lalor United FC
Melbourne Knights FC
Moreland City FC
Murray United FC
North Caulfield JFC
North Sunshine Eagles SC
Northcote City FC
Nunawading City FC
Pascoe Vale FC
Richmond SC
Southern United FC
Springvale White Eagles FC
Templestowe United FC
West Point Soccer Club
Western Eagles FC
Whittlesea Ranges FC
Yarraville Glory FC


There should be no additional cost to a player/parent (apart from their regular club registration). There should be no separate fees or special charges for teams involved in the program. Only WNPL or regional based programs are able to charge (given they do not have underpinning youth teams).

Clubs/Coaches may incur a cost due to the support provided by FFV in the form of Courses, Workshops, Resources and Gala Day Administration on a case by case basis.

Information for Clubs and Application Process

For more information on the new structure and minimum requirements to run the program, please click here.

Key Dates/Timelines:

  • EOI's open to all clubs 10th March 2017
  • EOI's close Monday 20th March 2017
  • Application form submitted to clubs on Monday 20th March 2017
  • Application forms close Sunday 26th March 2017
  • SAP Affiliated Clubs confirmed Friday 31st March 2017
  • SAP Training Plan start week of 17th April 2017
  • End of SAP is last week of September 2017

FAQ’S or More Information

  • Q: Is my son or daughter able to participate in a program at another club, if my sons/daughters club doesn't offer the SAP? A: Unfortunately not at this stage. We feel the criteria to join the program is achievable for all clubs to join. FFV may look at running SAP centres for players in this position, however at this time cannot offer this service.
  • Q: Is there any limit to the amount of SAP teams at a club? A: Only NPL teams have restrictions on the amount of age group teams they can have, otherwise, no, the more teams involved the better.
  • Q: Do all teams in U9-U12 need to be a SAP team at my club? A: No. Only teams/coaches that meet the minimum criteria are eligible. You could have 1 team or all teams involved.
  • Q: Is there a coach to player ratio (like in previous years)? A: Common sense should prevail. The smaller the better which would encourage more game time on game days per SAP team.
  • Q: Will you offer coaching workshops/course? A: Yes, the quality of coaching is the foundation of the program. We look forward to offering opportunities for coaches to develop and improve.

If you have specific questions please contact

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