KEY off-field players at Richmond Football Club, Kim Stephens and Richard Taylor gave some valuable insights on Thursday at Bendigo Senior Secondary College.
Stephens, the club's psychologist, and Taylor from the recruiting team spoke to the footballers in the college's specialist sports program.
Many of the students at the session are in the Bendigo Bank Pioneers under-18s squad and will team up for BSSC in school football.
Throughout a question-answer format, Taylor spoke about how highly recruiters, coaches and AFL clubs rate competitiveness.
"No matter what size you are, the ability to compete is important," Taylor said.
He stressed the need to keep working on disposal, decision-making, team focus, and enjoyment of the game.
Taylor said those aspects of the sport were crucial, whether it be at AFL, VFL, TAC Cup under-18s action or in country matches.
He said there were many factors which went into recruiting and a lot of time was spent assessing players in many pockets of the country.
"Workrate is really important, not just in matches, but at training.
"The recruiting landscape has changed a lot. I will stress that if you are not drafted at 18 that it's not all over," said Taylor.
"All clubs are spending a lot more time looking at mature-age recruits."