VU and the Western Jets Football Club have enjoyed a productive partnership since 1999. The partnership provides outstanding educational opportunities for VU students and other young people in the western suburbs.

The Jets represent the Western Metropolitan Region (Hobson’s Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton, Wyndham, Moorabool, Port Phillip and Brimbank) in the TAC Cup, which is the Victorian Under 18 Competition League. Over 50% of the players from the TAC Cup go on to play in the AFL.

For the first time, in 2017, the TAC Cup has a Girls competition. Thirty-five girls from Melbourne’s west have been chosen to represent the Jets, out of an initial training squad of 70.

In 2017 the Western Jets formed the girls competition.

Education & placement

The Western Jets provide significant work placement opportunities for VU students, many of whom subsequently find ongoing work with the Jets or other sporting organisations.

In 2017, 38 current or former VU students are working or completing placements at the Western Jets.

Roles include:

  • strength and conditioning
  • sports trainers
  • coaching
  • administration.

VU students who have completed work placements with the Western Jets have gone on to enjoy successful careers in the elite sports industry.

Organisations that employ former Western Jet placement students include:

  • Melbourne Cricket Club
  • Swimming Australia
  • the AFL
  • Essendon Football Club
  • Collingwood Football Club
  • Fremantle Football Club
  • Melbourne Football Club.

VU is committed to promoting traditional education alongside sport careers. We offer Jets players pathway and career-development support. Course advice sessions give our Western Jets partners the opportunity to explore their study and scholarship options.

Our industry partnerships give our sport students opportunities to undertake placements.

Access to elite facilities

We provide the Jets with access to our state-of-the-art facilities including our:

  • aquatic centre
  • gymnasium
  • indoor training facilities
  • rehabilitation sessions.

Six Western Jets players were selected to join AFL clubs in the 2017 draft.

VU offers Jets players skill acquisition training.

VU Nathan Prince Scholarship

VU supports the annual Nathan Prince Scholarship, which offers $1000 for a Western Jets player enrolled full time at VU or Victoria Polytechnic. The scholarship was established in memory of Western Jets player Nathan Prince, who died after a post-game cardiac arrest in 2011.

2017 recipient

Deng Maguang is an outstanding footballer of South Sudanese decent. His family moved to St Albans, Victoria, from Western Australia in late 2016. He previously played in the West Australian Football League Colts Competition, and is known to several AFL recruiters.

Deng is enrolled at Victoria Polytechnic and is undertaking a Diploma of Sport Development.

Previous recipients

  • Nick Buykx (2016)
  • Jackson Volpato (2015)
  • Liam Macmahon (2014)
  • Harrison King (2013)
  • Ben Norton (2012)

2017 Nathan Prince Scholarship recipient Deng Maguang.

Success stories

Former champions of the game that came from the Jets include:

  • Brad Johnson (Footscray/Western Bulldogs)
  • Matthew Lloyd (Essendon)
  • Dustin Fletcher (Essendon)
  • Shannon Grant (Sydney/North Melbourne)
  • Heath Scotland (Collingwood/Carlton).

Current AFL stars who once played for the Jets include:

  • Michael Rischitelli (Brisbane/Gold Coast)
  • Bachar Houli (Essendon/Richmond)
  • Majak Daw (North Melbourne)
  • Callan Ward (Western Bulldogs/Greater Western Sydney)
  • Adam Kennedy (Greater Western Sydney)
  • James Sicily (Hawthorn)
  • Will Hoskin-Elliot (Greater Western Sydney/Collingwood)
  • Kyle Hartigan (Adelaide).

Two Western Jets players were selected to join AFL clubs in the 2016 draft:

  • Daniel Venables – pick 13 to the West Coast Eagles and pick 28 in the Rookie Draft
  • Oscar Junker to the North Melbourne Football Club.

Sport courses & support programs

VU is a national leader in sports education, and we offer a range of sport and exercise science courses.

VU’s elite athlete program helps athletes balance study with training and competing at a professional level. If you're interested in our high-achieving sporting partners, read more about the Western Jets