Sydney has a quality selection for athletes looking to attend soccer academies at the youth or junior levels. Many current Australian pros playing in the A-League or abroad have spent time in the soccer academies listed below.

Milan Academy Australia – Sydney Olympic Park


Andrea Icardi heads the Milan Academy, he started with Milan at age ten and spent thirteen years playing for the club. He now uses this strong knowledge of the game to develop the prospects of Australia. The academy offers a combination of professional training with disciplined, didactic drills to develop each athlete’s skillset. Advanced Academy runs February through December where players will deepen their understand of the European approach to technique and tactics. The three main areas of focus for this group are; technical, technique, and physical skills. Advanced Academy is just one of many programs offered at Milan, Mini Milan, Basic Skills, Pre Academy, Junior Academy, Pre Milan Pro, Milan Pro, and goalkeeping are among the other programs offered.

To register for the Milan Academy Australia, visit their website:

FAST Football Academy – Croydon

FAST is headed by the Bosnar brothers Milan and Ivan who both played professionally for Sydney United. Multiple programs are offered, including one-on-one training and the Development Academy. One-on-one training is available per request and is available for all ages, cost per session is $50. The Development Academy meets every Monday night and lasts around 75 minutes. Basic skills as well as position specific and game situations are among the focuses.

For a full list of programs and to register, visit FAST Football Academy’s website:

Red Devils Football Academy – Dulwich Hill

The Red Devils Football Academy is managed by Ben Burrows, who previously played professionally for West Ham United and the Wollongong Wolves, among other teams. Ben has produced talented players such as David Platt, Danny Murphy, Neil Lennon, and Robbie Savage, to name a few. One-on-one training sessions are available per request, as well as small group training of two-four athletes. Every Friday a skills training sessions is hosted from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at PCYC in Marrickville. Players are divided among skill level to ensure they get the most out of the workout. A camp is scheduled for July 11th – July 13th, with skills training in the morning and scrimmages in the evening. The camp runs from 9:15 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and cost $90 for one session or $180 for all three.

Visit their website to register:

Football Star Academy – Moorabbin

The Football Star Academy offers a wide variety of programs for youth, junior, and senior level athletes. Weekly clinics, one-on-one, elite squad, holiday camps, and goalkeeper sessions are all available. We will highlight the Centre of Excellence, this program is designed for players who are extremely dedicated to the game. The program runs 12 months and only 36 players are accepted each year. The athletes take part in three workouts per week lasting around an hour and a half per session. All the players accepted in the Centre of Excellence are previously tested in the Elite Squad. Besides on field work, players also have top notch strength and conditioning as well as nutritionists on staff.  Former Manchester United left winger Jesper Olsen runs master class camps for elite prospects. These camps are for players playing NPL or in their ‘A’ teams, as they are very intense sessions.

For more information on the Football Star Academy and to register, visit their website:

Sydney Boys Football Academy – Surry Hills

The Sydney Boys Football Academy is managed by Max Andreotti who has previous experience playing pro in Italy and has coached numerous teams in various age groups. He currently scouts Australia/Oceania for youth prospects for the Italian Serie A league. The academy features five levels; Mini Academy, Junior Academy, Advanced Academy, Elite 1 Academy, and Elite 2 Academy. Training is offered year round and numerous camps and holiday clinics are available as well. Academy sessions are on average, one and a half hours per week in one single session. The cost is $250 for a 10 week program.

For more information on the Sydney Boys Football Academy and to register for camps, visit their website:

Special Mention:

Train Effective In-Residence Program

The In-Residence Program was created for 14 – 25-year-old footballers seeking the most transformative level of soccer training and self-development experience. You will be transforming your game in the football capital of the world, London. Your personal coach will be a UEFA licensed, ex-international whose sole purpose will be to help you achieve your full potential. Off the field, you’ll stay alongside a former FC Bayern Munich player, women’s pro player and a YouTube football influencer in the famous London Effective House.
The In-Residence program is open to players all year round. More information, including testimonials and prices, can be found here.

Train Effective Online Academy – Everywhere

In 2010 I read a book that changed my life forever. It changed how I looked at footballers. It changed how I looked at successful athletes, and it changed how I looked at every person who has reached success.Outliers was so powerful because it challenged everything I thought I knew about getting better. Of course I knew I had to train to get better, but for how long? How much? How do you get on the level of the best? What did they do to get so damn good?

Those questions were answered when I turned to the page in the book and read the line the: “10,000 hour rule”.
What the author Malcolm Gladwell explained was quite amazing. He said that the key to success in any field a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours. In other words, as players we must train/play football for at least 10,000 hours before we reach world class status, the level of Premier League players for example.
After reading the book, what I did next was something many of you would consider kind of crazy.

I literally doubled/tripled my training schedule so that I was training at least 20 hours a week. At least 12 of these hours each week were spent grudgingly at the local football field with just my boots and a ball. In the snow, wind, rain, sunshine it didn’t matter, I would set out to complete these 20 hours every single week. I (Canberra boy), ended up getting a contract offer to play professionally in Europe and trained with the Australian U/20’s as a result of this hard work.

My friend Mo Jarad over at Bobby Charlton Academy in Manchester sums it up pretty nicely:
“Is the academy system alone going to produce elite athletes? We hear about the poor lad who was there from 8 years old to 18 but never made it. Well the answer to my question is NO- the long and short of it, regardless of how good it is, to rely on the academy system solely will let you down. It will facilitate and unlock potential and give individuals the best opportunity to improve. But if you want to succeed you need to do more than the average person as you are 1 of 16 players getting the same coaching at your club, you are 1 of 16 in 92 professional clubs that run teams from 8-18years, you are 1 of 4 million young people playing football and you are 1 of a billion people. It’s what sets you apart from these people which will get you through.”

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