So we laid off some VFL coaches when it was clear that there was going to be no VFL season, which prompted one or two journalists to assume we were shutting down our VFL side forever and that led to a few supporters assuming that a choice had been made between VFL and AFLW. All while no announcement had been made on any of this by the club.It never left. Nothing has been decided.
Think. Stop reacting.
Lots of sh*t talking about nefarious political operators.So we laid off some VFL coaches when it was clear that there was going to be no VFL season, which prompted one or two journalists to assume we were shutting down our VFL side forever and that led to a few supporters assuming that a choice had been made between VFL and AFLW. All while no announcement had been made on any of this by the club.
Recruiting zones, conferences, list changes in the works for revamped VFL
The Victorian state league is set for major changes in 2021, from the number of teams to list requirements to recruiting zones. Here’s a snapshot of what’s under discussion.
Paul Amy, Leader
September 17, 2020 10:30am
The VFL could have up to 20 teams as clubs from three states assess their options for 2021.
The first step towards the make-up of the Victorian state league comes this Friday when clubs submit an “expression of interest’’ to be involved.
Indications are all NEAFL clubs bar the Canberra Demons will lodge their initial interest.
The AFL announced in August that the NEAFL would be absorbed into the Victorian league but the Demons have already announced they will not be part of it.
Northern and southern conferences are an option as the AFL looks to reduce costs for travel and accommodation.
The Victorian clubs have been given proposed new zones and list requirements for next year.
For a list of 40, the stand-alone clubs will have to contract 20 players under the age of 23, and 10 must be under the age of 21.
Aligned and AFL clubs will be permitted to list five players over the age of 23.
Five will have to be under the age of 23, and 20 other players under 21, sourced from zones that each club has been allocated.
But primary-list players can come from anywhere.
The zones apply across the entire competition in Victoria and are intended to promote and strengthen greater linkages between the NAB League and the VFL, as the VFL clubs had suggested in a submission to AFL state leagues manager Tristan Salter four months ago.
Frankston, for example, has been given Gippsland Power and Dandenong Stingrays.
Casey Demons have been allocated the Stingrays and the Melbourne Next Generation Academy, which takes in the Mornington Peninsula.
Box Hill Hawks can tap Eastern Ranges and Gippsland Power, which Hawthorn’s NGA covers.
Coburg has the Calders Cannons and the Bendigo Pioneers.
But four clubs have a bite at the Western Jets: Werribee, Williamstown, Footscray Bulldogs and North Melbourne through its NGA.
Some clubs will urge the AFL to take another look at the proposed zones.
Although AFL clubs must pull back on their spending, there are indications most will run their own VFL teams next year, even Carlton, which cut the Northern Blues in March as the impact of COVID-19 kicked in.
Northern is going back to the Northern Bullants name and is out to operate as a stand-alone.
The zones are seen as a way of having more players coming out of the NAB League – which turns into an Under 19 and Under 17 competition next year – and going directly to the VFL.
The pathway would start with a 16-year-old player joining the Oakleigh Chargers, for example, and knowing he could go on to Port Melbourne in the VFL if he wasn’t drafted.
VFL club officials believe said such a system would increase opportunities for young players that were lost when VFL Development League was canned at the end of 2017.
An AFL recruiter backed the model, and said the onus would be on VFL clubs to work closely with the NAB League teams to create a “one-club’’ feel.
He said he saw it as the VFL’s attempt to replicate the SANFL and WAFL.
“That’s not a bad thing; what they have over there works,’’ he said.
AFL club officials contacted by Leader also supported the model but one had reservations about the zones, arguing the Jets should be left to Williamstown and the North Melbourne NGA, leaving Werribee to be attached to the Geelong Falcons and Greater Western Victoria Rebels regions and the Bulldogs also with the Rebels.
The “talent flow’’ from the Jets is seen as insufficient to produce enough players for the model.
Clubs’ official applications to be part of the revamped VFL in 2021 must be lodged with the AFL by the end of the month.
POTENTIAL VFL TEAMS IN 2021
AFL stand-alones: Brisbane, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Footscray Bulldogs, Geelong, Gold Coast, Greater Western Sydney, North Melbourne, Richmond, Sydney
Aligned: Box Hill Hawks, Casey Demons, Sandringham
VFL stand-alones: Coburg, Frankston, Northern Bullants, Port Melbourne, Williamstown, Werribee
NEAFL: Aspley, Redlands, Southport, Sydney University
Stand-alone clubs: 20 players over 23, 10 under 23, 10 under 21
Aligned or AFL stand-alone clubs: five players over 23, five under 23, 20 under 21
Coburg: Calder Cannons, Bendigo Pioneers
Frankston: Dandenong Stingrays, Gippsland Power
Port Melbourne: Oakleigh Chargers, Sandringham Dragons
Northern Bullants: Northern Knights
Williamstown: Western Jets
Werribee: Western Jets, Greater Western Victoria Rebels
Box Hill Hawks: Eastern Ranges, Gippsland Power, Hawthorn NGA
Casey Demons: Dandenong Stingrays, Melbourne NGA
Sandringham: Sandringham Dragons, St Kilda NGA
Carlton: Northern Knights, Carlton NGA
Collingwood: Oakleigh Chargers, Collingwood NGA
Essendon: Calder Cannons, Bendigo Pioneers, Essendon NGA
Geelong: Geelong Falcons, Geelong NGA
North Melbourne: Tasmania, North Melbourne NGA
Richmond: Murray Bushrangers, Richmond NGA
Western Bulldogs: Western Jets, Western Bulldogs NGA