Collingwood Football Club is entering into a Major Community Partnership with the Yarra Junior Football League.

The YJFL is the largest junior football league in Australia with over 11,500 players and 550 teams operating in the north eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The league is growing with the advent of women’s football and has recently introduced over 100 new teams for girls.

Collingwood will partner with YJFL to support talent and participation programs and deliver a range of benefits to clubs and junior players throughout the league.

Collingwood President Eddie McGuire said, “AFL football is only as strong as the community that supports it. Collingwood is a community club and we want to help local clubs provide opportunities for kids to be healthy and active and enjoy belonging to thriving clubs. We want all boys and girls to have the chance to play sport, to be part of a strong junior club and to be able to dream of one day playing at the highest level.”

“We have tremendous respect for the YJFL and we look forward to working with the league to support school and Auskick programs and talent pathways; to grow girls and women’s football; to deliver sports medical services and research programs; to provide coaching expertise and to develop world class facilities for the benefit of the league and the community.”

YJFL President Jeff Hooper said, ‘We are delighted to be able to work closely with Eddie McGuire and Collingwood to provide the resources, facilities and programs that will support our clubs and players to be the best they can be. Football Leagues are such important places now for the development of both the physical and mental health of our boys and girls and having a partner like Collingwood can only be good for the Community, the League and our great code.’ 

Tim Murray, the CEO of the YJFL said, ‘With our 12-round season about to start on July 12, this announcement lets our players know that our footy talent programs will be back bigger & better in 2021, with Collingwood’s active involvement. YJFL club volunteers play a crucial role in developing the code in schools, Auskick centres and the community, and involving Collingwood to enhance this can only be good for the code. Collingwood and the YJFL have complementary strengths to work together for the development of AFL football in Northern and Eastern Melbourne. The YJFL has conducted world-leading research in to injuries and concussion in 2019, and Collingwood’s programs will be able to support us as we work to ensure the game is as safe as it possible can be for our boys and girls.’

The partnership involves:

  • Junior development programs to encourage greater participation in the YJFL
  • Co-ordinated sports medical programs and research to improve the health and safety of all players in the YJFL
  • Fundraising items/prizes, experiences and player appearances to support YJFL clubs
  • Support for talent pathways for junior players through to the elite level. 
  • Programs and initiatives that support participation of female players and officials in the YJFL
  • Development of projects to expand community facilities