Grading information, dates & times for Nov 20 to Dec 8

Grading information, dates & times for Nov 20 to Dec 8

UPDATE TO MEMBERS AND GRADING PLAYERS: U9 grading (Boys and Girls) has been moved to Monday 27 November & a further session on Monday December 4 @ 6.30pm

Grading will be a busy affair, with over 600 members players and over 200 non-member players for the club to review and grade from U8 to our Seniors. Each player will be given 3 opportunities this year to attend grading. Further grading opportunities will be held in February 2018. And don't hesitate to contact us with any queries.

Above you find your alloted grading times. You should make sure you arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled time to make sure you are able to check in and obtain your grading vest on time

Men U20s, Reserves & Seniors: See grading times here
U16 Girls, Women Seniors & ReservesSee grading times here

Can't find your age group or have a question? Please contact our Club Manager Crystal Eid with your questions.

Grading Information & Process FAQ

How do I know what age group I am in? Find your age group by checking the table below. If you are born in 2011 you can still play in U8. If you are born in 2012 or earlier please contact the club directly to discuss options.

Check below for your born year and age group:

  • 2000 & 2001: U18
  • 2002: U16
  • 2003: U15
  • 2004: U14
  • 2005: U13
  • 2006: U12
  • 2007: U11
  • 2008: U10
  • 2009: U9
  • 2010: U8
  • 2011: U8
  • 2012 or 13: Speak to us

When does grading occur? Grading will run for 3 weeks from Monday 20 November to Friday 8 December 2017. Further grading sessions will held in February 2018.
Where is grading being held? All grading will be done at Cross Keys Reserve in Essendon on Woodland Street.
When should I arrive for grading? Arrive 20 mins before your allotted time EG arrive at 6.10 if your session is due to begin at 6.30.
What should I bring to grading? Please ensure you have appropriate playing apparel including shin pads and boots. Don't forget water.
What do I do when I arrive for grading? You will need to go to our check in location, mark your name off with our Grading Check-in and obtain your grading vest.
How many sessions should I attend? We recommend you attend at least 2 sessions.
How much time is required for each grading session? Each grading session will last approximately 50 mins.
How will i be graded? A coaching panel of 2-3 coaches will grade players based on technical and tactical ability. Grading will take place via a skill warm up and then small sided games.
What happens if I miss grading or cannot attend enough sessions? Don't worry if you are a returning member just speak to [Simon De Leonardis (Club Junior Representative)](mailto: or contact [Emmet Sheehan (Club Secretary)](mailto: If you are a new player coming to Royals let us know also. There will be scope to regrade or grade new players in February based on our available number of spots in teams.
What happens after I complete my grading sessions? The club will form provisional training squads. Each player who has completed grading will be allocated to a training squad and given the opportunity to secure their spot with the club. Members and new players will be asked to place a $100 deposit with the club. The deposit will go towards your club membership fees. Players will be notified by email of their training squad. Club teams will be finalised in February\March 2018.
So I am grading now, when does the season start? Essendon Royals commence Juniors and Mini-Roos preseason in early February 2018. Teams will still be adjusting at that time and some places may be getting filled. Overall though the club is near capacity. It's possible that we won't have a spot for all our aspiring members so make sure you secure your spot at the club if you are new to the club after grading. If in the event that teams are full you will be refunded your deposit. If you choose not to undertake a position with Royals, your deposit will not be returned.

For those attending Spring Academy with clashing times

For members attending Spring Academy who have a clash with the time for grading, please attend at least 1 grading session. For new players it would be great to see you at 2 grading sessions. Players who miss out on Spring Academy sessions are welcome to attend on an alternate day. Just let us know. An additional Spring Academy session will be offered for you to attend on Tuesday December 12 and Thursday December 14.

Membership policies & information:

  • Returning 2017 Royals players will be guaranteed a spot upon payment of deposit with the club but not necessarily in the team of their choice.
  • Players may request to be in certain teams which we will consider but the grading process will determine the squads. Coaches may also request players be place in their teams and the club will consider these requests and work with each coach to determine the best composition of squads.
  • New players will be taken into Royals by their position in the expression of interest list after grading and making a deposit with the club and paying an initial membership fee. 

In age groups where we field Kangaroo or A graded teams players cannot expect to play with friends if their is a large disparity in their capability.
If you have any questions regarding fees or deposits please just ask!
For latest Membership information please visit our Essendon Royals SC website membership page.

Junior Selection Policy & Teams for 2018

If you want to know more about our team selection policy you can find out about it here: Draft junior team selection policy.

For 2018 training squads will be built as follows:

  • U8s will be new teams.
  • U10s and U12s will also require extra players to come into squads.
  • There will be some changes also due to player turnover.
  • In general we will try and keep teams together. Players will only be moved on request or if there is a large disparity between players in levels in teams subject to availability of space in each squad.
  • Exceptions that may apply will be dealt with by the club case by case.
  • Teams will be finalised in the first weeks of preseason when we also have an intake of new players.

We do not "Trial" players, our intake policies...

It is important to note that at Royals we do not "trial" players. We will do our best to take in all players who come to the club if we have available team positions based on first in first served basis. We are near capacity however and new players can only be admitted if we have space in our existing teams and available coaches or a new team and coach available.