Mini-Roos & Junior Team Selection Policy

Our commitment

We believe that football (soccer) should be safe, enjoyable, and inclusive and maximise individual participation. Equally, the club is primarily focused on football development and our team selections policy is geared towards improving the overall standard of football in the club and increasing player’s opportunities to improve themselves. Essendon Royals acknowledges that positive experiences in junior competition will contribute to children developing a lifelong love of football. Our team selection policy is designed to enable junior players to aspire to playing at a higher level if they so desire as well as playing socially. Players will be selected to play at an age appropriate level with team members of similar skill level. Players will be given every opportunity to be members of the club based on availability of positions as determined by club team policy.



  • Grading will be held at a selected Essendon Royals venue for each age group between end of season and November for new and returning players.

  • There will be more than 1 grading session per age group

  • Dates will be advertised on the club website, social media and via email to existing members and to any non-members who are waitlisted through an expression of interest.

  • It is the players and guardian’s responsibility to check the website and ensure they are able to attend grading.

  • Attendance at all grading is recommended to enable the player to be placed in the most appropriate team for their level of skill.

  • All players attending grading must be registered with Essendon Royals with a current email address, mobile number, name and date of birth or they will not receive any correspondence from the club. Details of how to register with the club are on the club website.

  • Players unable to attend grading should notify the club in writing so that the club may apply the appropriate consideration for the player.

  • The club will appoint a coaching panel to oversee grading for each age group and players will be assessed on technical and tactical skill as well as attitude.

  • Squad selection will be made by the coaching panel with advice from the age group coaches from the previous year and the age group Technical Director.

  • The club will then make provisional squad selections based on grading results, players and positions available in that age group.

Player and team selection

Players will be selected into age appropriate squads for preseason where there are squads available according to the Essendon Royals Team policy for that year.

  • The number of positions in squad shall be based upon the age group, gender and number of teams available to compete in the age group.

  • The number of teams in each age group will depend upon the number of players available in that age group and the Essendon Royals policy for our number of teams in any given season. The base team policy developed by the club committee for each age group based on facility and coach availability as well as player capability.

  • Players will grade & play in their respective age range. Exemptions are only permitted upon application to the club in writing to the age appropriate committee director or technical director. Players will only play above their age range if their football skill level is assessed as high. For example players in U8s will need to be able to play in U9 Kangaroos to play up an age group. In certain exception the club may allow players to play up due to other exceptional circumstances, such as playing with siblings.

  • Each player will be selected to play for the club and a team based on the following general criteria:

    • Grading assessment and age group

    • Behaviour and attitude on the field towards the game, other players and coaching staff

    • Past performance and history with the club

    • Technical and tactical skill

    • Team fit and requirements

Girls in Mini-Roos and Juniors

Where squads and positions are available, female players will be accepted into the club.

Special requests may be made by female players to play in male based competitions and will be assessed by the club on a case by case basis. High ability and desire to compete will be the general criteria for girls to be accepted to play in boys competitions.

Mini Roos (Boys)

For Mini-Roo boys, the club will generally make places available to all returning members and new players. Mini-Roos players will be selected into teams according to their grading or past history with the club. Every endeavour will be made by the club to retain players in teams however the club retains the right to name players in any squad as recommended by the coaching panel.

Juniors (Boys)

For Junior boys, the club cannot guarantee a spot for returning members and new players. The club has limited places for Junior players and the club will select players in Juniors according to availability of positions given specific players capabilities and team fit.

  • For U13-U16 a maximum of 48 positions is available in each age group. The club will permit a limited number of new players to be selected for A-graded squads only according to the club requirements for those teams. This may result in positions not being available for returning Essendon Royals members.

  • For U18 and U20, these age groups are selected and players will be accepted into the club based on capability. This may result in positions not being available for returning Essendon Royals members.

Offers to Players

  • At the conclusion of the grading period, players selected by the club will be offered positions in a provisional squads by email.

  • Players who do not receive an offer will be waitlisted by the club and offered a position in the event of a vacancy.

  • Selected players will be asked to confirm their positions with a financial deposit within 14 days of the offer. The deposit will be credited towards registration fees or new member fees.

  • Players will only be entitled to the spot on offer after paying a deposit within the 14 day period or by contacting the club prior to the expiry period of the offer if unable to pay online. Spots that are not secured within the 14 day period will be offered to players who are waitlisted. There will be no exemptions.

  • Note that any offer to a player is for a place in a provisional squad and not the final team. The club reserves the right make adjustments to squads prior to season commencement according to team and club requirements.

  • At a nominated date (advertised on the website and emailed to guardians) prior to the season commencement, final team squads will emailed to registered and paid players. A player will not be placed in a team if they are not registered on myfootballclub and fully paid.

Points for Consideration:

  • Essendon Royals is a football club and our primary focus to develop players and teams with football ability. Although the club recognises the importance of social relationships in the club, players cannot expect to play with friends if skills are disparate or to be readily entitled to a position in last season’s team. Grading is done on ability and team selection is done within the bounds of positions available in the club. It is not in a player’s best interest to be playing with children of greatly differing ability.

  • Making new friends is one of life’s skills and a team sport is a great way to practice this. Parents and coaches will ask for social relationships to be considered however this will be a secondary consideration when selecting an age group squad.

  • The club will make training arrangements according to our coaching and facility availability and footballing policies. Training times will depend on coach’s availability (they all work as well as coach), pitch availability and the number of teams the club fields. Training times cannot be changed to suit individual players.

  • If a player does not attend any grading then they are unlikely to be placed in one of the higher level (Kangaroo or A) sides. While the club will endeavour to place that child in a team that suits them there, is unlikely to be much flexibility for movement between teams.

  • If the club receives more enrolments than they have coaches, players will be put on a waiting list. Only when a coach is allocated will a further team be opened. All our coaches are supported by the technical director and by the club, which will pay for any coaching courses, completed by coach volunteers as well as paid coaches.

  • The club has been given guidelines by the City of Moonee Valley regarding facility and field usage. The club can only field teams within these boundaries.