A holistic approach to developing talented junior players is at the heart of South West Academy of Sport's new soccer program.
Applications are open for the 2021 Football and Futsal Youth Development and High Performance Program.
Coach Tim White said it would involve 20 sessions.
He was South West Victorian Football Association's regional academy head coach and technical director for most of the past decade.
He explained that program finished up in 2019 but had been reintroduced as part of SWAS.
"It's basically like the old program was, except with the assets and support SWAS brings," he said.
The academy aims to "improve the levels of sporting excellence in South West Victoria" and already has sports such as golf, cycling and netball under its umbrella.
White believes there will be two key benefits of having the soccer program under the SWAS banner.
They are promoting off-field development and also ensuring the longevity of the program - that it can remain regardless of staff coming and going.
White explained the program was being introduced to help talented juniors keep up with national and world standard education.
"We want it to be more in the line with national standard not just technically but theoretically," he said.
White expanded on that idea saying it even came down to juniors being familiar with the terminology high-level clubs use.
"So if they go to a semi-professional team in Melbourne or overseas they can play within that system fairly effortlessly," he said.
White said the initiative would encourage young players to think of themselves as athletes - with a focus on off-field aspects including diet and strength and conditioning.
He explained, unlike some other sports, there could be a perception in soccer that talent and playing ability were the main ingredients to high performance.
The program, which will also incorporate online learning, will include one session a fortnight.
Soccer players will get to participate in activities which include athletes from other SWAS sports.
White said applications would likely be open until mid-February with the program aimed at players 12 to 18 years of age.