News NEAFL to merge with VFL

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DavyRed

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After much rumour it looks confirmed that the NEAFL will merge into the VFL, with 2021 being a “year of transition”.

Apparently the Swans will have a choice of fielding a stand-alone ‘Reserves’ team, or going with a JV with another team or spreading their players over multiple teams.

It will also be interesting to see how this impacts on NEAFL clubs like Sydney Uni and Canberra Demons as they may be about to become extremely popular with players who want to stay based close to home but who also want to play at the highest level possible below AFL.

 

RUNVS

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This will become an AFL funded reserves comp eventually.
All it needs is the 2 SA and 2 WA teams into the mix and it's already set up.
No more AFL players playing amongst state footballers.

This has been a long time coming really.
Well there will be as no team has enough players to have a full reserves team made up of AFL players. The only way it could work is if teams merge their reserves, so for instance GWS and Sydney have a single reserves team where our players play together, Adelaide and Port have the same setup, Hawthorn and Richmond, Bulldogs and North, that sort of thing.

In some ways that would be better actually. Means the AFL only needs to fund 9 teams instead of 18.
 

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Millky95

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Well there will be as no team has enough players to have a full reserves team made up of AFL players. The only way it could work is if teams merge their reserves, so for instance GWS and Sydney have a single reserves team where our players play together, Adelaide and Port have the same setup, Hawthorn and Richmond, Bulldogs and North, that sort of thing.

In some ways that would be better actually. Means the AFL only needs to fund 9 teams instead of 18.
I was thinking this as well. You either have lists of about 50 per club or would have to sign 15 or so "Reserves" only players to fill gaps. Or merging clubs but I don't like that
 

DavyRed

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Well there will be as no team has enough players to have a full reserves team made up of AFL players. The only way it could work is if teams merge their reserves, so for instance GWS and Sydney have a single reserves team where our players play together, Adelaide and Port have the same setup, Hawthorn and Richmond, Bulldogs and North, that sort of thing.

In some ways that would be better actually. Means the AFL only needs to fund 9 teams instead of 18.
My assumption is that the Swans and the other AFL NEAFL teams will do much as they’ve done up to now - field stand-alone teams made up of AFL listed players plus top level Academy players to fill in the gaps.
 

RUNVS

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I was thinking this as well. You either have lists of about 50 per club or would have to sign 15 or so "Reserves" only players to fill gaps. Or merging clubs but I don't like that
Merging clubs for reserves would not bother me. Perhaps have 11 reserves players per team, or if that is not enough because it is the AFL's own competition increase it to 13 players per team and just have a larger bench. Would save clubs quite a bit of money and would create a reasonably high quality reserves league.
 

RUNVS

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My assumption is that the Swans and the other AFL NEAFL teams will do much as they’ve done up to now - field stand-alone teams made up of AFL listed players plus top level Academy players to fill in the gaps.
Would be very expensive to fly these players around the country though, especially when half of them are not even AFL players.
 

Millky95

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Merging clubs for reserves would not bother me. Perhaps have 11 reserves players per team, or if that is not enough because it is the AFL's own competition increase it to 13 players per team and just have a larger bench. Would save clubs quite a bit of money and would create a reasonably high quality reserves league.
Yeah but I don't wanna see Gould developing in a GWS Guernsey or something as incredibly tribal as that
 

DavyRed

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Would be very expensive to fly these players around the country though, especially when half of them are not even AFL players.
Yep, cost was always going to be a factor. On the one hand travel costs will increase (we previously only had to fly to Queensland and once to NT) but then there will be cost savings from going with one league rather than two and some of those savings could be distributed back to the clubs.
 

Ralphyboy

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I hope very much we see swans/uni and gws/canberra teams. That way some very very talented NSW (non AFL) players will get the opportunity to play in the VFL. This would be a great thing for NSW football as it would provide a pathway for elite non drafted Sydney and Canberra talent to stay at home and still play VFL.

I don't think a swans/gws team would fly, nor do I think a team playing in the vfl with 10 or more 17 year old academy kids would be sensible. It would be best to have a swans/uni team with the best sydney senior players combined with the swans list. The swans and uni already have good relations with various coaches like Lloyd Perris having worked at both clubs.

Likewise the GWS/Canberra franchise is an exciting prospect.

For the Academy there might be times when an academy player may get a run in the senior vfl team, but generally they would play academy games and in a revamped u19 comp with the vic teams.
 

DavyRed

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I hope very much we see swans/uni and gws/canberra teams. That way some very very talented NSW (non AFL) players will get the opportunity to play in the VFL. This would be a great thing for NSW football as it would provide a pathway for elite non drafted Sydney and Canberra talent to stay at home and still play VFL.

I don't think a swans/gws team would fly, nor do I think a team playing in the vfl with 10 or more 17 year old academy kids would be sensible. It would be best to have a swans/uni team with the best sydney senior players combined with the swans list. The swans and uni already have good relations with various coaches like Lloyd Perris having worked at both clubs.

Likewise the GWS/Canberra franchise is an exciting prospect.

For the Academy there might be times when an academy player may get a run in the senior vfl team, but generally they would play academy games and in a revamped u19 comp with the vic teams.
I’m going to have to disagree with you on some of that, Ralphy. I would think the interests of “very talented NSW (non AFL)” players would be better served keeping the likes of Uni and Canberra seperate from the Swans and Giants. JVs are always dominated by the AFL ‘big brother’ club. The local lads end up being top ups with AFL players always getting a place in the team when available. A local lad will always be made to make way for an AFL player returning from injury, regardless of how well he happens to be playing.

An independent Uni team would be better for Sydney non-AFL players if they want the best chance of competing regularly in the VFL.
 
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Arwib

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This will become an AFL funded reserves comp eventually.
All it needs is the 2 SA and 2 WA teams into the mix and it's already set up.
No more AFL players playing amongst state footballers.

This has been a long time coming really.
I think it's a stable endgame even without those two states involved. And if the NEAFL club sides join, they and the standalone VFL sides are a really good way to keep over-age non-drafted players playing elite footy at cohesive clubs, while in the eyes of clubs and recruiters. You'd lose that in a pure national reserves comp even if it feels neater.
 
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Arwib

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I’m going to have to disagree with you on some of that, Ralphy. I would think the interests of “very talented NSW (non AFL)” players would be better served keeping the likes of Uni and Canberra seperate from the Swans and Giants. JVs are always dominated by the AFL ‘big brother’ club. The local lads end up being top ups with AFL players always getting a place in the team when available. A local lad will always be made to make way for an AFL player returning from injury, regardless of how well he happens to be playing.

An independent Uni team would be better for Sydney non-AFL players if they want the best chance of competing regularly in the VFL.
Agree, but I think rather than a formal aligning, if Uni join they should look to formalise some player sharing arrangements with the two Sydney AFL clubs. The AFL clubs should try to have some mature aged adult players to protect and lead the kids, and in return, Uni should get access to academy players.

The nature of the AFL reserves teams is their strength and composition fluctuates with injury, some shared player arrangements could mitigate that and provide more stability.
 

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Arwib

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Yep, cost was always going to be a factor. On the one hand travel costs will increase (we previously only had to fly to Queensland and once to NT) but then there will be cost savings from going with one league rather than two and some of those savings could be distributed back to the clubs.
Will they actually increase? Leaving aside that the travel is fully funded, I'd have thought flying Sydney to Melbourne would be cheaper than flying to Queensland.
 

DavyRed

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Will they actually increase? Leaving aside that the travel is fully funded, I'd have thought flying Sydney to Melbourne would be cheaper than flying to Queensland.
I’d just assume that there would be more flights- but that’s assuming they’d still be flying into QLD at roughly the same level as previously, if the likes of Southport etc participate.

Edit: just read your post again, so the AFL pays the flight costs? I didn’t realise that.
 
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DavyRed

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Agree, but I think rather than a formal aligning, if Uni join they should look to formalise some player sharing arrangements with the two Sydney AFL clubs. The AFL clubs should try to have some mature aged adult players to protect and lead the kids, and in return, Uni should get access to academy players.

The nature of the AFL reserves teams is their strength and composition fluctuates with injury, some shared player arrangements could mitigate that and provide more stability.
Yep, understood. I was focusing on the interests of one particular stakeholder group - the non AFL local players - and would think their best chance of playing regular VFL games would be with a stand-alone Sydney Uni or Canberra Demons team if that was possible.

Of course different stakeholders (AFL clubs, non-AFL clubs, AFL listed players, local players etc) may have different interests and what may be best for one stakeholder may not be best for another.
 

Ralphyboy

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Yep, understood. I was focusing on the interests of one particular stakeholder group - the non AFL local players - and would think their best chance of playing regular VFL games would be with a stand-alone Sydney Uni or Canberra Demons team if that was possible.

Of course different stakeholders (AFL clubs, non-AFL clubs, AFL listed players, local players etc) may have different interests and what may be best for one stakeholder may not be best for another.
I think the points you make are very real. The swans will absolutely try to dominate uni. I guess I was thinking that uni probably would not want to go it alone, and that the swans with reduced lists would not be able to field much of a team. A swans/uni team would definitely have the risks you raise.
 

Superstar swan

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No reason we can’t have a a competition for reserves teams that is based in Victoria. Flights wouldn’t be much and also could easily fly in and out in a day so it wouldn’t affect “local” players who have jobs etc
 

SeanM

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I think it is important to have a side like Syd Uni. So a young player like Rampe who gets overlooked does not need to move to Victoria to prove himself against VFL clubs or move to SA to play SANFL. He can stay in Sydney and compete against VFL clubs and AFL reserve players.

I don't know what the financial situation is at Syd Uni. If Covid spending cutbacks affect their sport programs. Ideally the AFL would provide some support for at least 1 standalone Sydney club. Because it is probably going to be the best pathway to get noticed for Sydney players that don't get immediately drafted.
 
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Arwib

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I think it is important to have a side like Syd Uni. So a young player like Rampe who gets overlooked does not need to move to Victoria to prove himself against VFL clubs or move to SA to play SANFL. He can stay in Sydney and compete against VFL clubs and AFL reserve players.

I don't know what the financial situation is at Syd Uni. If Covid spending cutbacks affect their sport programs. Ideally the AFL would provide some support for at least 1 standalone Sydney club. Because it is probably going to be the best pathway to get noticed for Sydney players don't get immediately drafted.
Uni seem to have a lot of money for sport (the WNBL Flames and the Shute Shield side wouldn't be cheap to run), but my understanding is that the VFL salary cap might be about double the NEAFL one, 400 or 500k vs the NEAFL being a bit over 200k. That increase might be a stretch for them right now, unless there's some support coming from the AFL or state body or something.
 

bedford

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A possible benefit of having a Joint Venture team (such as Syd Uni) could be that the "spending" by junior club in the JV (coaches, players, travel, etc) wouldn't count against the soft cap of the AFL club where it would if the AFL club stayed as a stand alone reserves side.
Your Essendon mate will have all the answers
 

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