Community Sports Program 2024


AS we enter 2024 , the Prahran Football Club CSP is to be revamped with a greater emphasis on providing a pathway for Prahran Juniors players.

Prahran Juniors president Ben Apted identified reduced numbers for Under 8s teams in the past two years and needed to be addressed.

The Prahran Football Club (with the support of the Prahran Social Club) has supported a program to provide football training into Stonington schools since 2000.

The junior Club has agreed on the importance of having a strong Schools engagement approach primarily as a pathway to recruit players into PJFC during February and March 2024.

Our pathway has been challenging: there were issues with Auskick (specifically around 30% of players not pathwaying into PJFC due to Glen Iris Gladiators recruitment in 2022), also with regard to branding the program. 

OXFC are working hard to address issues, and we have put forward Ben Schauder to run the Auskick program – he’s in discussions with OXFC at present.

 Andrew Parker is our PJFC Auskick and Pathways co-ordinator and has some great ideas on how we can extend our visibility with Schools.

Priorities are:

  • To reach out to the majority of Stonington Schools and offer our football program support: come to the School, and run technical and fun drills to get kids engaged in football
  • Bring pamphlets for registration at PJFC or Auskick (web link straight to rego form). 
  • Run a quality training for each School:

Steve Zayler, a past manager of the program and James Gray, current CSP manager, have met with PJFC officials and mapped out sessions for 2024, with the aim of co-ordinating improved sessions.

Ben Schauder and James Gray, will arrange the clinics at various schools in Stonnington and with support teams with the aim to upskill young boys and girls.

This is the 24th year of providing skills to schools throughout the City Of Stonnington.

Apart for the COVID year of 2020 the program has continued uninterrupted since 2000.

The skills provided range from AFL to soccer, netball and cricket depending on the seasons and ages of the children participating.

The schools engaged for 2023 are listed below.

  • Our Lady Of Lourdes
  • Prahran High School
  • South Yarra Primary
  • St Joseph's Malvern
  • Armadale Primary

James Gray, a former Prahran juniors footballer, succeeded Steve Zayler as CSP manager in 2021.

The CSP evolved in 2000 under the management of Derek Hine, a former club coach and now National Recruiting Manager at AFL powerhouse club Collingwood. That year Hine was sent on a 10 day study tour of UK soccer clubs who all have community based programs which he implemented to create the CSP.

A recent CSP manager Dale Tapping, 1987 Prahran premiership player, is now senior assistant coach at Essendon