ESFA participates in the Football NSW Skill Acquisition Program (SAP), which is part of the talented pathway for players aged between 9-12 years of age. Our program is the designated pathway program in the Eastern Suburbs aligned with Sydney FC Academy.

Through our relationship with Sydney FC, players from our program are scouted each year to represent Sydney FC with their Youth League Academy.  Furthermore, our relationship with other Youth League clubs in the Metro East area ensures our players who graduate from the program are given the best opportunity to play at the highest level.

SAP incorporates the fundamental principles of the FFA National Curriculum and MiniRoos regulations, including match formats, training loads, match loads, program duration and field dimensions.

Our experienced youth developers (coaches) are all highly qualified professionals (FFA/AFC A and B Licence holders) that focus on individual development and preparing players to take the next step into youth teams.

Training sessions are designed to follow and incorporate the 4 core skills and focus on individual performance and game understanding/awareness.  Emphasis is placed on development rather than winning matches, although we encourage players to develop a ‘winning mentality’ through their actions and attitude.  This program is designed for players who are serious about developing their football skills and furthering themselves in the years to come.

Players are selected into the program based on their current skill level, their potential to develop the key skills required, their attitude and commitment to the program.

Trials dates are listed below, and players are put through several stations, along with small-sided games to highlight their individual attributes.

SAP & GSAP 2025 Expressions of Interest

To register your interest to trial with ESFA, please fill out the following link:


For further information please email  (for Mixed SAP) or (for Girls SAP)

In 2025, ESFA Teams will participate in the following age groups:

Mixed SAP:
U9: boys and girls born in 2016
U10: boys and girls born in 2015
U11: boys and girls born in 2014
U12: boys and girls born in 2013

Girls SAP:
U10: girls born in 2015 or 2016
U11: girls born in 2014
U12: girls born in 2013
U13: girls born in 2012

Key Season 2024/25 dates:

Trial Period October onwards Training Day/s Sessions Per week
Pre Season Training  November/December TBC 1-2 times per week (TBC)
  February/March TBC 2 times per week plus trial games
Season March until August TBC 3 times per week plus games

Trial Procedure

  • Please arrive 15mins prior to your allocated start time
  • Players will be signed in at the entrance to the Heffron Synthetic field and will be given a trial number.  Parents/spectators will be asked to observe from the seating area while socially distancing.
  • NO Parent should come onto the playing field.
  • Coaches will observe children in different formats being technical skills, small-sided games (2v2, 4v4) and a bigger game.
  • We ask that no Parent/spectator coach or instruct during the trial process. Any parent found doing this will be asked to leave the venue.
  • Each trial will go for 1hr-1hr15mins.
  • Parents will be notified of the next step via email the following day.
  • Any child wanting to trial for a goalkeeper position, please advise before the trial starts.

We understand that trials can be a stressful and anxious period for many young children.  Our staff/coaches will endeavour to make the experience and the environment warm and welcoming for each child.  It is important to note that all children are on different paths and stages and selection will be based around their ability at that given moment. Some attributes that we will be looking out for besides their technical ability will be their coachability (can they follow instructions/listening), and their game understanding.

If you will not be attending trials this year, we ask that you let us know over the coming days to allow for others to trial and so we can plan accordingly.

Please note, fees for the program is $1675* (based on 2024 fees) which includes all training/matches/kit for the year.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact

*Fees are indicative of 2024 season fees. Football NSW will set the fees by the end of October.

With thanks to our partners

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