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Bunk Moreland

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Don't think it's realistic with the current state of affairs (35 player lists especially). Bunk Moreland has the best idea with the alignment of teams, and each team's "inactive list" could come from their aligned side as well

Carlton - Preston
Collingwood - Port Melbourne
Essendon - Coburg
Geelong - Falcons (expand it into a legitimate VFL side essentially)
Hawthorn - Box Hill
Melbourne - Casey
North Melbourne - Werribee
Richmond - Frankston
St. Kilda - Sandringham
Western Bulldogs - Williamstown

Teams get 9 home/9 away games. Have most at the traditional VFA grounds (PCO, NPO, CCO, BHCO, Casey Fields, Chirnside Park, FCO, TBBO, Point Gellibrand) and maybe a curtain raiser here and there at Punt Road or Kardinia Park
Its really the only model that works from both a footy and financial point of view. As I said, if they go and introduce reserves it totally flies in the face of what they’ve been crapping about with costs. What do they supposedly still need the membership money for?
 

footyfan1978

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I don't see how AFL clubs will be able to afford a stand alone reserves next year. I think they'll be forced into re-alignment.
If the salary cap is reeled in but list size not reduced, they will find a way. The will of the AFL clubs up north to want to be part of it looks likely to swing it that way. NEAFL going and Eastern AFL reserve grade taking hold looks the most likely at this point.

There has also been too much talk of below that having NAB league and some of old VFA clubs be the pathway for players to get drafted be the third tier too.
 

TheGreatBarryB

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You can’t get rid of teams like Port Melb and Willi or even Coburg, big names in Vic football...football institutions! Werribee is one of the youngest growth corridors in the country! F*** NSW and QLD!
 

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footyfan1978

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Would not worry. Ziebell killing those clubs off is not going to happen.
Most of them will be part of the third tier most likely.
 

NorthernBastard

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Don't think it's realistic with the current state of affairs (35 player lists especially). Bunk Moreland has the best idea with the alignment of teams, and each team's "inactive list" could come from their aligned side as well

Carlton - Preston
Collingwood - Port Melbourne
Essendon - Coburg
Geelong - Falcons (expand it into a legitimate VFL side essentially)
Hawthorn - Box Hill
Melbourne - Casey
North Melbourne - Werribee
Richmond - Frankston
St. Kilda - Sandringham
Western Bulldogs - Williamstown

Teams get 9 home/9 away games. Have most at the traditional VFA grounds (PCO, NPO, CCO, BHCO, Casey Fields, Chirnside Park, FCO, TBBO, Point Gellibrand) and maybe a curtain raiser here and there at Punt Road or Kardinia Park
this just makes sense, with aligned u18's for reduced admin and facility costs, and then hopefully an easy transition for those players into VFL footy if not drafted
 

Bunk Moreland

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The issue there is for the clubs out North; Murray and Bendigo. They'd be hung out to dry essentially.
You could work something out there in terms of moving their players into a VFL club.

The big moving part that’s required with this move is the reestablishment of VFL reserves. To have meaningful VFL lists you need to be able to offer kids coming out of the TAC Cup etc each year a game of footy every week. If you only have one VFL team (seniors), and up to half of it is taken up with AFL players, that’s tough. The VFL clubs need to be able to build proper lists and offer spots to more players - that means reserves.
 

eth-dog

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You could work something out there in terms of moving their players into a VFL club.

The big moving part that’s required with this move is the reestablishment of VFL reserves. To have meaningful VFL lists you need to be able to offer kids coming out of the TAC Cup etc each year a game of footy every week. If you only have one VFL team (seniors), and up to half of it is taken up with AFL players, that’s tough. The VFL clubs need to be able to build proper lists and offer spots to more players - that means reserves.
Maybe each club get up to 3 of each list, depending on how many players from there get drafted. The reserves will probably happen anyway
 

Bunk Moreland

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Maybe each club get up to 3 of each list, depending on how many players from there get drafted. The reserves will probably happen anyway
It might, but then again it very well might not. AFL Vic canned the VFL reserves because they reckoned it cost $1m a year. A vital development plank gone for the sake of fairly small $ for the AFL.
 

eth-dog

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It might, but then again it very well might not. AFL Vic canned the VFL reserves because they reckoned it cost $1m a year. A vital development plank gone for the sake of fairly small $ for the AFL.
But the true benefit of doing this alignment stuff is that you can do what you do at local level. 19's at 9, reserves at 11:30 and seniors at 2 or something like that
 

Walshawk

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I personally think it should go back to the "old" VFL of the 90's.

Have an Eastern seaboard AFL reserves.

Then essentially a reformation of the old VFA in a sense.

Willi, Frankston, Port Melbourne, Werribee, Coburg etc all join forces with some of the biggest local clubs in the city and regional areas to form a 2 or 3 tier VFA 'super-league'

Vermont, Greensborough, Uni, St Kevs, Deer Park, West Preston, Keilor, Aberfeldie, Dromana, Strath Storm, St Mary's, Altona etc.

The VAFA clubs might abstain given it would be a professional league in a sense though.

Promotion/Relegation could exist back to your local league, and admission could be via a carnival of champions of those premiers throughout the state who aren't currently in the VFA.

The majority of these clubs have juniors, meaning you have kids getting exposure to football only just below AFL reserves level in a sense. It would act as a secondary TAC Cup in that sense. Most of these clubs have the money to remunerate the best players meaning this league would be the absolute pinnacle.


The current model is actually sh*t. The VFL is propped up by the AFL listed players, yes some VFL listed players area drafted each year, but the vast majority of the best players in the state not playing AFL football, don't play VFL football because they don't pay enough, that would change.

In an ideal scenario all suburban football leagues combine and fall into an English FA style system, all under the same league umbrella throughout a 20-25 division system. With the VFA div 1 being just below the AFL reserves.
None of the suburban or ammo clubs want to be part of any new league. It would have no support and would send them broke.
 

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Rusty Brookes

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Don't think it's realistic with the current state of affairs (35 player lists especially). Bunk Moreland has the best idea with the alignment of teams, and each team's "inactive list" could come from their aligned side as well

Carlton - Preston
Collingwood - Port Melbourne
Essendon - Coburg
Geelong - Falcons (expand it into a legitimate VFL side essentially)
Hawthorn - Box Hill
Melbourne - Casey
North Melbourne - Werribee
Richmond - Frankston
St. Kilda - Sandringham
Western Bulldogs - Williamstown

Teams get 9 home/9 away games. Have most at the traditional VFA grounds (PCO, NPO, CCO, BHCO, Casey Fields, Chirnside Park, FCO, TBBO, Point Gellibrand) and maybe a curtain raiser here and there at Punt Road or Kardinia Park
This has been tried but most AFL clubs have treated the old VFA sides like Led Zeppelin treated groupies in the 70s. Have your fun and then dump them when you're bored. There have been exceptions (Hawthorn and Box Hill have stayed the journey, Melbourne and Casey look solid) but have a look at what happened to Preston football club. Aligned with Carlton until they were forced to change their nickname, then their name and then thrown aside to die.
 

Bunk Moreland

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This has been tried but most AFL clubs have treated the old VFA sides like Led Zeppelin treated groupies in the 70s. Have your fun and then dump them when you're bored. There have been exceptions (Hawthorn and Box Hill have stayed the journey, Melbourne and Casey look solid) but have a look at what happened to Preston football club. Aligned with Carlton until they were forced to change their nickname, then their name and then thrown aside to die.
It's all about setting clear boundaries and expectations.

What's happened in the past is a result of a power imbalance. This was basically due to the AFL clubs not needing the VFL clubs.

The AFL has been so flush with cash that the clubs could afford to have their own reserves.

Has that changed? That's the first question the VFL clubs need to ask. If the AFL clubs decide they're willing to come on board properly because they need to save the money and reduce their list sizes, then that shifts the power somewhat.

As I said earlier, I'd be going to the AFL as a bloc and asking if they want to do this. We'll be your 10-club reserves comp in Vic which will save you having to completely fund your own and employ top-up players.

In return we get our names, jumpers, a reserves comp to build our own lists, x games at our ground and $x in funding per year. And that gets set in agreement at a league level.

If it's clear up front then both sides can agree or disagree.
 

TheGreatBarryB

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That’s what my suggestion is not kill off coburg Werribee etc but move them to local leagues
Same thing, you’re killing them off. I really don’t see why AFL can’t support an elite suburban comp similar to the old VFA, just 8-10 teams. But their priorities are in other comp(s) at the expense of a very viable alternative that will actually get paying customers.
 

TheKITC

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The whole situation is pretty unenviable...

In a perfect world, the AFL needs to maintain it's current list sizes and just have a reserves comp that play curtain raisers for the competing AFL teams accordingly. These reserves would be made up of players on the list not playing in the AFL that day, then filled out by these semi-pro types who are committed (the Frankie Raso's, Adrian Bonnadio's) and young blokes who missed getting drafted but are keen for another shot who would be both contracted to their reserves, train with the clubs but also have a 'home club' to play at should they not be selected. This doesn't seem like it is financially viable or likely.

The whole Eastern Seaboard thing with list cuts also seems problematic. John Longmire raised an issue with it last night on FC, pointing out the injuries Sydney had last year and the difficulties with fielding a team when you are a stand alone organisation. Having our countries 'elite players' in our top sport playing against plumbers and accountants who are top up players if injury strikes, reeks of amateurism. If these players are not really 'part of the club', gameplan informed or invested in playing, how much is anyone really getting out of these matches? Maybe a star is returning from injury and a bloke playing as a top up player decides to go hard at him because he is likely to be playing against his AFL team the following week. I don't know a pro sport in the world that would want a set up like this...

Then you have the decimation of clubs with histories in what was the modern day 'reserves', in Vic being the VFL. I absolutely hate to see the histories of some clubs just wiped out, but the bastardisation that was occurring, particularly in the VFL, was also pretty bad. What becomes of these clubs? Where does the next Michael Barlow, Michael Hibberd or Kane Lambert play and develop and how do they get looked at?

Whole thing is a bit of a sh*t sandwhich and I am yet to read or hear a good option. I know there just isn't the money at the moment and it was always a financial quagmire, but a national reserves is the best option. The AFL continues to pour money into another ongoing money pit (AFLW), why not another?
 

glengowan

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The AFL need to do it properly and be aware of the need to have football strong at all levels.

That is reduce the main list size at AFL level to 35.
Keep the Category B Rookie up to 3 places.
Development list of 20 players under 20 years of age.

The Development List players are not full time and are used to supplement the AFL Reserves team. Preference to have these players stay in their home state where possible. Those on the list are guided through 1st two years out of U18 system/school. Assisted in transition to tertiary study or apprenticeships. Maintain connection to their original state league club while on Development List to either play State League or State League Reserves if not picked in AFL Reserves team.

AFL is the top level
2nd Tier consists of AFL Development/Reserves League and State Leagues VFL, SANFL, WAFL, QAFL, AFLNSWACT, AFLTAS, NTFL

The AFL Development/Reserves League keeps it fair for all AFL clubs. This is a pathway for young players to make an AFL list if they don't get drafted out of U18's

The State Leagues are a pathway to a main AFL list for players over the age of 21.

Keeps all leagues relevant. The strongest leagues would naturally be the VFL, SANFL and WAFL.

And to keep the VFL, SANFL and WAFL leagues and its clubs in the national conscience - it would be great to have a designated time slot for one game a week to be shown live on Fox Footy. Eg. WAFL live on a Friday night after the AFL game every week, VFL live at noon on Saturdays, SANFL live at noon on Sundays.
 
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footyfan1978

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The whole Eastern Seaboard thing with list cuts also seems problematic
Totally agree. Cannot happen with list cuts. Therefore do not have any list cuts imo.

I know there just isn't the money at the moment and it was always a financial quagmire, but a national reserves is the best option. The AFL continues to pour money into another ongoing money pit (AFLW), why not another?
West Coast do not want to fly a reserve team from Perth which can understand so national reserves not going to happen.
The best alternative is the Eastern AFL Reserves but as with previous point list cuts cannot happen if we do this.
What needs to happen is lists kept the same and salary cap reeled in. Basically a drop in player payments to allow for more to be involved.

If the clubs on Eastern Coast play in a reserves comp it allows the cost not to blow out.
Also got no problem with Greg Swann suggestion that Gold Coast and Brisbane play each other four times in home and away so there is a few extra weeks of not needing to travel interstate. Same with Sydney and GWS reserves. I think the costs can be easily covered by AFL. No need for reserve team licences like it VFL comp because you already in the AFL.
Just make it a 14 club comp over 22 rounds of home and away and finals series top 8.
I think it also the perfect tool for Tasmania to eventually get a team in it before the senior level licence of AFL some time later.
 

fargothegreat

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I quite like the idea of cutting senior lists to 35 and increasing the rookie list to 20 and turning it into a semi-professional development list of something like under 22 players only.

Allows clubs to field reserves sides that would be a mix of fringe senior players and young players that can develop in a club environment and be called upon as injury top ups.

Solves the problem of kids getting drafted too young without life experience, as development list players would be part time and have to work, study or learn a trade in their spare time.

Also allows state leagues to stay strong, without their players being raided as topups, whilst continuing to be a pathway for mature age players like Marlion Pickett.
 

nick1408

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I quite like the idea of cutting senior lists to 35 and increasing the rookie list to 20 and turning it into a semi-professional development list of something like under 22 players only.

Allows clubs to field reserves sides that would be a mix of fringe senior players and young players that can develop in a club environment and be called upon as injury top ups.

Solves the problem of kids getting drafted too young without life experience, as development list players would be part time and have to work, study or learn a trade in their spare time.

Also allows state leagues to stay strong, without their players being raided as topups, whilst continuing to be a pathway for mature age players like Marlion Pickett.
Here is what I don't like about cutting lists to 35 and still having a reserves team:

Currently there is an average of 5.5 players injured per team (99 injuries, 18 teams). Immediately we are down to 30 available players. 22 players on a matchday + 3 emergencies leaves three players (maybe five depending on club management. There is usually one non-playing emergency) available to these reserve leagues. 17 players from the 20 man rookie list need to be available just to field a side on average.

We are then expecting someone on a development list to be training and developing as much as someone who would be #35 on the list even though developing isn't their main job (they need to be employed elsewhere to pay the bills).

While there is the odd mature age player drafted they are the exception, not the rule. Clubs are developing players in a professional environment with the young player's main job to develop into an AFL-quality player. There are no outside influences like work to limit a player from developing. The players who don't make the initial list of 35 most likely won't make the AFL as they will be the ones that need the most input thus need full time development rather than part time development that this proposal offers.

Do kids really get life experience from university or do they need to be working to get life experience? How does life experience compare for a kid working in the city compare to a kid working in the country? It's all relative. If the AFL wants players to fend for themselves a bit more they can limit the amount clubs do for players e.g. don't pay their bills for them, don't setup bank accounts for them, don't redirect mail for them etc. Definitely guide and teach, but don't baby.

I do think the NAB League and private school system needs a look at but that doesn't mean it needs to change. I don't think there is a problem with kids being drafted too young but there are enough agitating for change. I raised earlier in this thread to just limit it to age limit per draft round (18+ for first round, 19+ for second round, 20+ for third round and so on).

An alternative view might be to take development back to how it was in the 80's and 90's so there are less players that are at current players fitness and skill level so football goes back to (regresses?) what it might have been then. I certainly don't subscribe to the notion that football was better back then so I don't think this would be a good idea.

My personal opinion is I'd like to see no change in the VFL system. The WAFL and SANFL systems seem to work. The only leagues that probably need a look at are the NEAFL but I don't see an easy (or cheap) way to help them out. I think there is too much value for the Perth and Adelaide sides being in their own leagues but if there was to be something on the Eastern Seaboard the 14 team comp needs to be home and away.

26 games anyone???
 

footyfan1978

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the Eastern Seaboard the 14 team comp needs to be home and away.
26 games anyone???
Only if the senior AFL grade goes to 26 rounds.
Cannot see that happening.
So with 22 games the Eastern AFL would be 22 games of home and away also, so the guys not in senior team are aligned with same weeks playing as senior team do.
 

NoobPie

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The AFL need to do it properly and be aware of the need to have football strong at all levels.

That is reduce the main list size at AFL level to 35.
Keep the Category B Rookie up to 3 places.
Development list of 20 players under 20 years of age.

The Development List players are not full time and are used to supplement the AFL Reserves team. Preference to have these players stay in their home state where possible. Those on the list are guided through 1st two years out of U18 system/school. Assisted in transition to tertiary study or apprenticeships. Maintain connection to their original state league club while on Development List to either play State League or State League Reserves if not picked in AFL Reserves team.

AFL is the top level
2nd Tier consists of AFL Development/Reserves League and State Leagues VFL, SANFL, WAFL, QAFL, AFLNSWACT, AFLTAS, NTFL

The AFL Development/Reserves League keeps it fair for all AFL clubs. This is a pathway for young players to make an AFL list if they don't get drafted out of U18's

The State Leagues are a pathway to a main AFL list for players over the age of 21.

Keeps all leagues relevant. The strongest leagues would naturally be the VFL, SANFL and WAFL.

And to keep the VFL, SANFL and WAFL leagues and its clubs in the national conscience - it would be great to have a designated time slot for one game a week to be shown live on Fox Footy. Eg. WAFL live on a Friday night after the AFL game every week, VFL live at noon on Saturdays, SANFL live at noon on Sundays.

This is excellent, I was thinking of something very similar to this.

Pre covid I actually had a different idea where the state leagues would be quasi professionalised with development responsibilities....eg most players would be 20 or under on apprenticeship like contracts and a limited number of over age players on contracts in the ball park of AFL rookie contracts. either draft age would be raised to 20 or strict limits on under 20s that could be drafted each year. Second tier clubs would develop relationships with education and training institutions. This is no long viable I would have thought (unavoidably would cost more even if you could redistribute existing expenditures to clubs and state bodies and you could convince the AFLPA to expand to include the second tier in its 28%)

I would suggest that the AFL development/reserve league would be more like a development "league"....I wouldn't even have a ladder or finals - just matches. This way you could reduce travel significantly by playing teams in the same state against each-other more often and perhaps even:1) have the WA / SA clubs play predominantly friendlies against SANFL and WAFL clubs and 2) have the NSW / QLD clubs play occasional games against rep teams from their state leagues. This would reduce travel costs substantially but also not playing in a formal competition also helps to more clearly establish the state leagues as the genuine second tier.

I would change the VFL back to the VFA and hit reset. Unlike the SANFL and WAFL it would need a greater level of "resuscitation".

I would also consider Sunday and Monday nights also for VFA/SANFL matches and perhaps even produce a combined highlights show. An alternative/complement to foxtel might be for the AFL to help produce and stream these matches.
 

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