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MegaA's picture

Is it too big a jump to invite some of the strong suburban clubs into a new league, clubs like noble park, aberfeldie, Heidelberg tigers etc etc to make a new league? You would probably only need 4 more clubs to have a 10 league competition.




blackrocker's picture

What chance AFL Vic would support new comp.   Where would the $$ come from for a new comp.

blackrocker's picture

Can't help but chuckle at a Hawthorn employee saying that a club with a majority Hawthorn board wants to maintain it's alignment with Hawthorn!


Zebras ponder end to VFL alignment with St Kilda?



SANDRINGHAM'S board and leadership group members were deep in discussion on Tuesday night about the possibility of ending the VFL club's eight-year alignment with St Kilda.

The meeting comes as VFL clubs prepare for the strong likelihood of the Development League – the state league's reserves competition – ceasing at season's end.

AFL Victoria met last Friday and will announce a decision this week, but understands clubs are resigned to the Development League's fate. 

Zebras and Saints officials also met in the past month about their alignment, which is a "rolling agreement" rather than a contract. But typically each club would have to make a decision early in the previous season about continuing the union into the next year. 

"It's pretty much a guarantee (the DL will be gone), and as a club we have to explore our options," Sandringham operations manager Josh Vella told

"There has been a number of meetings in the past week, with the players alone and the players' leadership group and John Mennie, our CEO."

The club is believed to be under time pressure to make a decision because if it is to go standalone – which understands is an option - St Kilda will need to quickly come up with a plan for its seconds team.  

Any Zebras decision would be made with long-term rather than just short-term viability in mind, Vella said. contacted St Kilda about the developing alignment situation, but club officials chose not to comment. 

There would be limited spots for non-AFL-listed players at aligned VFL clubs if the DL was to go, but "cost pressures" – among other reasons – led to an AFL Victoria review. It was also considered last year.

Box Hill Hawks, Casey Demons, Coburg, Northern Blues, Port Melbourne, Sandringham, Werribee and Williamstown all have DL sides. But Frankston general manager Gary Buckenara, who led a Dolphins presentation to AFL Victoria on Monday with a view to re-entry into the VFL, told in May that his club would not field a DL team if it returns.

Frankston, where Matthew Boyd, Tory Dickson, Michael Hibberd, Sam Lloyd, Mark Baguley and Nic Newman once played, will find out on August 7 if its bid was successful. 

The potential of the Zebras cutting ties with the Saints follows North Melbourne's announcement in April that it was breaking away from Werribee to launch a standalone VFL team next season.

That decision left St Kilda (Sandringham), Melbourne (Casey Demons), Carlton (Northern Blues) and Hawthorn (Box Hill Hawks) as the only AFL clubs with VFL alignments beyond this year. The Zebras were previously aligned with the Demons from 2000 to 2008.


zebraman's picture

The only thing that vaguely resembles Box Hill is that they play home games in Box Hill. Other than that everything is Hawthorn. The scrapping of the Development League will hardly affect Box Hill. Hawthorn will be loving this

Sandy. The most successful club in the past 30 years

vfa's picture

Will be more than interesting to hear what Mr Reaper has to say for himself on 3AW


Some of the comments about Box Hill are pretty naïve. Yes, from a financial and governance point of view they are a Hawthorn subsidiary and don’t really exist as their own entity, that’s no secret, but from a purely on-field point of view they are a strong football club with a very strong culture.

George, your comment about them not beating Nunawading is incredibly disappointing. They recently won a senior VFL game with 15 Box Hill players. They sit on top of the ladder despite averaging the fewest AFL-listed players of any team aside from the stand alones.

Their devt team has played in the last 8-9 grand finals (including last year’s by 100 points) and I think most of those years would have beaten any country or suburban side in the nation, especially on a big deck.

As for Hawthorn, they are strong supporters of the development league as they consistently use it to develop their own players and know full well the benefits of their senior VFL players playing alongside quality Box Hill players over the years like O’Donnell, Switkowski, Collins, Evans, Lawlor, Tobin, Mirra, Brolic etc who have learned the Hawks’ system playing in the development team.


Wally from Will...
Wally from Williamstown's picture

Mr Reaper will be on the 3AW Sportsday program tonight from 6-7pm, should be interesting listening to him try & explain this decision, although Dwayne Russell & Gerard Healy probably wouldn't have a clue about the VFL let alone the DL, but at least they have got him on. If he takes questions, people on here might like to phone in & put some of the issues that have been raised in this forum to him about scrapping the DL.

vfa's picture

Paul, my comment was tongue in cheek and probably in poor taste. As for Nunawading that was a bad joke so disregard those comments completely. Box Hill have done a great job for football in the East with a pathway from the EFL, Eastern Ranges as well as Yarra Ranges. You only have to look at Chris Jones who played some games with Emerald last year and has progressed to play in the VFL rep team. No arguments there. Box Hill as in the old Box Hill Mustangs cannot really reform and split as their alignment is different to others. Basically Hawthorn but they do focus on the East. The EFL has always been very strong and there are some great players in the area. Just a crying shame that with the DL gone there will be less players that will get an opportunity to play in the VFL and eventually AFL.