Program Profile: Yarra Pathways

Football is not only about the game itself, but about nurturing and developing talent and City in the Community’s work with the City of Yarra and its Yarra Pathways program is an example of this.

Aspiring young footballers aged 12-18 years undertake a football training program once a week under the guidance of a Melbourne City appointed coach who runs sessions for the squad and mentors two young coaches from the City of Yarra.

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The program helps link talented players with further playing opportunities while also teaching participants important leadership skills, gaining support from peers and role models including staff and players from Melbourne City.

Yarra Pathways provides opportunities for young footballers to reach their full potential, with links into clubs at all levels. It also develops healthy and responsible citizens, increasing confidence levels and leadership skills while creating a sense of belonging and connection to the City Family.

Participants have had the opportunity to attend training sessions at City Football Academy while also playing a role on match day at AAMI Park as volunteers in a range of different roles from ball boys to stretcher bearers.

Yarra Pathways Coach Frank McGrellis runs the sessions for the group in Atherton Gardens in Fitzroy and says the program is about more than football.

“These guys will be better people because of this program,” said McGrellis.

“We set expectations for good behavior and this leads to these young men developing as role models and a change in culture.”