NLFC Policy – Developing Eagles


At New Lambton FC we believe our junior football development program offers something different and something special.

Our aim is to provide our youth players with a platform to show off their potential, learn new skills and techniques in a fun, inclusive and safe environment, all under the guidance of our highly qualified New Lambton FC coaching staff.

We also aim to develop players’ abilities off the pitch, as well as on it, by introducing them to experiences that will shape their development into young adults and give them life skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.

The overall aim of the New Lambton FC Developing Eagles Program is to provide professional, structured football training to younger players that is consistent with the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) Football Curriculum and to establish good technique and skill prior to entering competition phases.  We also aim to show them just how special the game of football is.

Players participating in the Developing Eagles Program will be provided with a structured training environment that will include a squad based program including training and playing uniforms and qualified coaching. 

As a club of choice within Northern NSW, we are immensely proud of where we have come from and what we have created to date.

Any questions or feedback on the Club’s direction, please direct feedback via our website –



New Lambton FC’s Developing Eagles programis designed to create an atmosphere and an environment in practice and competition where players are challenged to be creative and problem solve. The main focus is on player and team development. The development of football players is at the forefront of our player curriculum.

As part of the wider New Lambton FC Football Program, players at this early age will be part of the one of the most comprehensive player development program in the Northern NSW area. The program is designed to foster a passion for the game by creating a fun, learning environment in which young players can master the skills needed to succeed and progress to the next level.

Academy Program Foundations

The McGrath Developing Eagles Program aims to implement the FFA Football Curriculum and is underpinned by the following foundations:

  • Social

Sessions are delivered to encourage the players to work together, to get to know each other and take ownership of how the session progresses, developing core skills to help them develop at training and away from football.

  • Technical

We teach players how to build up a range of movements and techniques related to top level professional players. Coaching sessions have been designed to allow repetition of these fundamental actions in a fun and exciting way and to challenge and motivate players at all times.

  • Tactical

Enhance the player’s understanding of why, when and where the techniques are used in small sided games leading up to 11 v 11 principles where relevant.

Help players to develop the courage and confidence to express their ability in games and an understanding of how to learn from their mistakes.

  • Physical

Show players how to train their bodies for the demands of the game and the different positions. Speed, strength, suppleness, stamina and skill can be developed to help young players achieve their optimum level of performance.

  • Mental

Developing a winning mentality requires strong character and a positive attitude. Building a positive rapport with all players to deliver the best possible experiences and activity to raise self-esteem and improve performance on & off the field.

Working hard to never give in, working together and always believing in yourself are core traits of a successful competition team that is encouraged throughout the program.


Coaches and players participating in the McGrath Developing Eagles are asked to pledge their commitment – to ensure the success of this important Club initiative:

Coaches Pledge

I will:

  • Plan my sessions systematically and in advance
  • Set up before the session starts
  • Welcome, train and say goodbye to my players
  • Act the way I expect my players to act
  • Create a positive and enjoyable atmosphere
  • Give every player equal opportunities
  • Constantly assess myself and my work
  • Work on the details in every session
  • Keep myself educated on the latest training methodologies and updates

Player’s Pledge

We will:

  • Live and love football.
  • Place family, health and school above football.
  • Be self-confident: I trust myself to use my abilities.
  • Be fair: I do unto others.
  • Be team players: I’m nothing without my teammates.
  • Be loyal: I play for New Lambton FC.
  • Be open to criticism: I know my coach wants to help me.
  • Be creative: I have my own ideas and I share them
  • Greet and say goodbye to teammates, coaches & parents.
  • Be fair to teammates, opponents, coaches, officials & fans.
  • Celebrate our victories and learn from our defeats.
  • Always do our best at practice and in matches.
  • Follow our coach’s instructions.
  • Place the team’s objectives above our personal desires.
  • Remain motivated to learn: I want to get better.

Parent’s Pledge

  • No coaching from the side line.  Encouragement only.
  • I will respect the judgement/methods of my child’s coach.
  • I will be proactive in advising the coach if my child can’t attend training/games.
  • I will endeavour to attend DE events that have been arranged for the development of my sportsman.

Development Program FAQs

What is the New Lambton FC Developing Eagles program and how many player will particpate?

The New Lambton FC Developing Eagles program is the highest level of youth player development, specifically involving players from U9 – U13’s – for both boys and girls.

Academy teams will be selected for the following age groups (dependent upon interest):

Age Group Members per squad
Under 9 10
Under 10 12
Under 11 12
Under 12 14
Under 13 14

How will players be selected?

Players will be evaluated and selected using a variety of methods, ranging from trials and player identification within the guidance provided by the New Lambton FC Grading Policy.

Will New Lambton FC players be given preference over players coming from other clubs?

In short yes, however New Lambton FC will consider all new comers wishing to trial for the Development Eagles program. 

Player selection will be in accordance with the New Lambton FC Player Selection Policy.

Within each squad a limited number of positions may be available to players from outside the Club wishing to nominate for selection. The New Lambton FC Player Selection Policy will not allow a full team from another club to come in and be part of the program. Final inclusion/exclusion of players from other clubs will be decided by New Lambton FC Premier Group Committee.

How much does the Program cost?

All players in the Club will pay their age specific fees – set by the club.

Players selected as part of the Developing Eagles Program will pay an additional fee (approx. $200) to cover the costs of additional clothing, gear, training facilities and coaching support that is provided as part of the Program. (The additional cost to parents will reviewed annually).

Attendance or participation in extracurricular tournaments (e.g. Kanga Cup) will be additional to up-front Program costs and will be made in advance in consultation with parents.

How will the New Lambton FC experience differ from a typical club setting?

An academy type setting is the best environment for player development, one designed to replicate a professional level. It offers high calibre instruction, competition and facilities, along with exposure to a far greater network of Premier Competitions, Emerging Jets and W-League.

Who will coach the New Lambton FC academy teams?

New Lambton FC teams will be under the direction of New Lambton FC’s Player Development Coordinator (Clayton Zane) and apart from a designated coach, each team will be assisted by one of the Club’s NEWFM (boys) or WPL (Girls) First Team Players.

Who will New Lambton FC teams compete against?

New Lambton FC academy teams will compete in the highest level competition in the area – the Interdistrict A-Grade competition. 

  Age Group Competition
Boys Under 9 SAP
  Under 10 SAP
  Under 11 NET Program
  Under 12 Interdisctrict A
  Under 13 Interdistrict A
Girls Under 9  
  Under 10  
  Under 11  
  Under 12 Interdistrict A
  Under 13 Interdistrict A

At the discretion of the Club and individual academy coaches (in full consultation with parents) New Lambton FC may from year to year elect to participate in extracurricular competitions such as the Kanga Cup in Canberra.

Where will New Lambton FC teams train? How often do they train?

New Lambton FC trains primarily at Alder Park during the winter months.  While Daylight Savings is in place training may be held at Regent Park – at the coach’s discretion.

Training session are scheduled 2 times per week and players are required to attend all planned sessions – unless the coaches are notified.  Teams participating in the Newcastle NET Program (Boys) will train one night at Wallarah Oval and one night at Alder Park.

Match days are scheduled for weekends.

When will New Lambton FC teams begin to train?

Training will officially begin in mid-January – however individual coaches may wish to stretch this earlier in consultation with parents.

Can New Lambton FC players participate in other sports?

The Developing Eagles Program is for players who are extremely committed and focused on reaching their highest potential level. Given the time commitment, participation in other sports is not discouraged, but should not interfere with program training and games.  To do so disadvantages team mates and others who missed out on selection.