Skill Acquisition Program (SAP)


Football Federation Australia and Capital Football aim to create a development program which is appealing to the committed player



Our main aim is to establish a program of Football Training and education that will help young players improve technically, tactically, physically, mentally, and socially while preparing them for professional and international football.

Football skills are vital to a player’s development at all levels, but essentially at the elite level where success is determined by the ability to perform a range of core skills effectively under match conditions.

Of course not all players will attain these heights, but all will benefit from being part of the SAP program in a number of ways. They will be exposed to a total Football education process and experience, which will benefit each individual Footballer and help prepare them for whatever their Football future may bring.

Players will be given the opportunity to improve both technically and tactically while learning the value of a disciplined approach, punctuality and the need to practice effectively and regularly if they aspire to be a professional player in the A-League or W-League.

We will help players to develop socially, to be polite, to interact with others and achieve a high level of self esteem. Players will also learn to appreciate the value of setting high standards and the value of hard work, whilst learning about the benefits of living a healthy Football lifestyle.

Players will ascertain the importance of teamwork, team spirit and sportsmanship, as well as providing an enjoyable and fun environment for them to thrive in.

Building Blocks

For this reason the National Curriculum has created the Building Blocks methodology which is the framework that provides the practical guidelines for coaches working at all levels of youth development.

Skill Acquisition Phase

The phase for the ‘golden age’ of motor learning (9 years to 13 years) is known as the Skill Acquisition Phase and it is from this methodology that our program derives its name and its focus.

Capital Football see the Skill Acquisition Program (SAP) having a twofold purpose:

  1. To deliver the best possible Football education for the players.
  2. To educate the wider football community in the methodology of coaching in the skill acquisition phase of youth development.

The SAP coaches will have a responsibility to work in the wider football community. They will be coaching assets in their area and will assist in coaching coaches and promoting the program.

The program will aid in the development of elite coaches in the Skill Acquisition Phase of youth development. The flow on effect will be the increase of opportunities for players, both boys and girls, to be better prepared technically and tactically to develop through the Talented Player Pathway. We view these football coaches as football educators and are confident that in further assisting their professional development in their field of expertise, we will make significant improvements to the standard of football.


Capital Football SAP provides a pathway for identified talented football players in which players aged U9-U13 years are selected into one regional training centre. The structure of the SAP involves the best players in each age group training up to 3 sessions per week for 40 weeks of the year in addition to playing in SAP elite matches and coached games against other State Associations, regions and club teams. BEST v BEST

Development v Results


Many coaches have embraced the National Curriculum and the 1:4:3:3 formations to be frustrated by others that favour a long ball direct style of football which can bring short term results but which smothers long term development. If we are looking to create a football culture consistent with the world’s best football nations then our youth development needs to focus on development instead of results.

Capital Football believes that these initiatives will fundamentally shift youth development away from a results driven model to a development driven model. It will have a substantial impact on the future focus of youth football and produce a larger talent pool for clubs and the National Player Development Pathway.

Selection of players for the SAP Program

The Head Coach of each squad and the assistant coach is responsible for the selection of players nominated by clubs, scouting or ACTAS coaching staff and in conjunction with the Technical Director.

Selection Criteria

The process they will take into account:

  • Performances at club level
  • The player’s performance and discipline at SAP training and matches
  • Application of the  4 x  key skills
  • The player’s tactical understanding (age specific)
  • The player’s mental strength (commitment to improve)
  • Compatibility on and off the field with players and all allied staff.
  • Injury issues relating to overuse, overplaying, or general football injuries (with Appropriate medical advice)
  • Amount of other activities the player is participating in besides football.

The player’s potential for future selection for:

  • U13 Boys & Girls National Championships.
  • U14 Boys National Championships.
  • U15 Girls National Championships.
  • ACTAS Male and Female Programs.

Selection Conditions

  • Players recommended in this program must be registered Capital Football players (through my Football club)
  • Players selected will abide by the Capital Football’s Code of Conduct.
  • Parents to abide by Capital Football Code of Conduct
  • Players / Parents understand that this is a special program that may not suit all only the committed.
  • Players must avoid overplaying that might result in overuse injuries.

Release process

If a player is to released or replaced from the program parents or guardians will receive correspondence which will state when and why.


I would like to say thank you to Capital Football for the SAP U10 Elite Soccer Development Program. Our son is a member of the squad. He has been kicking a soccer ball since he could walk and has played soccer since the age of 4yrs and has a real passion for the sport.

As parents it’s great to see your child have such a passion for a sport and to be in a program as professional as SAP. The local soccer clubs are great in providing fun to the game of soccer and do their job extremely well but there is nowhere for players who are passionate for soccer to go and expand their knowledge of the sport at a young age.

Our son would play his game on a Saturday but would leave the game feeling very frustrated not understanding why others didn’t want to play as serious as he did. He would score all the goals and help set up goals for others but after a while this didn’t matter as he didn’t feel he was playing a challenging game of soccer as he would have wished to.

There are some very good clinics around that are great to do but the SAP program has filled the gap to those soccer players who are serious about the sport. The program is very professional and only involves the coaches and players and you know every child has achieved his place in the squad by their own abilities.

I congratulate you and the SAP U10 Elite program and coaches on providing a program that will help satisfy the young soccer players keep their passion on a wonderful sport.

Thank you
H & R
25 July 2011