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vfa's picture

One of the darkest days in Victorian football history. Disgraceful on all counts. Thanks mr reaper and co.

Ron Burger
Ron Burger's picture

I'll respectfully disagree that it's one of the darkest days. DL has been a problem child for many seasons, particularly once the AFL clubs began fielding stand alone VFL teams and ending alignments.

Solution is as follows:

10 AFL reserves teams

8 stand alone teams (Coburg, Port, Willy, Werribee, Sandy, Box Hill, Casey and Northern)

9 matches per week. AFL teams play 5 AFL teams twice. Stand alone teams play 5 stand alone teams twice. 

AFL senior lists are 40, rookies/cat B 8, VFL lists of 20. Total of 68 players. 

Stand alone lists of 40. 

Thats still a total of 1000 players listed at AFL/VFL clubs in Victoria every year. 

If you're not an AFL lister you can choose to either get VFL listed or stand alone listed. Obviously if you choose stand alone there's more spots to fill and you're a 55% chance of a game if there's zero injuries. If you choose to get VFL listed you need injuries in order to get a game full stop.

It's guaranteed to make the stand alone lists stronger isn't it? 

zebraman's picture


Aren't Frankston about to be readmitted?  They makes 9 teams

whether something like that eventuates is another matter.

But more than ever I'm worried about the future of Sandy and the three other aligned clubs. I have no idea as to what can happen between St Kilda and Sandy if they can't come to some form of agreement tonight. No doubt Box Hill,Casey and thr Northern Blues are in the same boat

guess we find out tomorrow if we'll still be around after this year

Sandy. The most successful club in the past 30 years

vfa's picture

Not sure what will happen with the zebras in meeting tonight but hope they work something out that will be good for sandringham fc.

Ron Burger
Ron Burger's picture

If Frankston are readmitted (which is not guaranteed), then it would make 9 stand alone as I've, sensibly, presumed North Ballarat aren't proceeding into 2018.

Frankly if it's 19 teams - I'm ok with that, as there's perhaps scope for a couple of byes (one team each week and perhaps a couple of split rounds). Might make it a 20 round season which starts a week after and finishes two weeks before the AFL one. Everyone could play each team once - which would be a remarkable improvement on the compromised fixture they grapple with at AFL level.

NorthPort's picture

Good news re: Sandringham.  The competition needs a good healthy standalone Sandringham.


Re: the decision tonight...VFL clubs are gong to need much closer ties with U18 zoned clubs.  

Can someone tell me who was the winner of the A. Todd medal last year?  I can't fathom how they really think disbanding the DL is a good idea.





The AFL Victoria Board has ratified the recommendation to end the Development League from next season onwards. The decision has been made with a focus on the longer-term future of the Peter Jackson VFL competition.

AFL Victoria Chief Executive Officer Steven Reaper said several factors had been looked at before making the final decision to end the Development League.

“Pressures on clubs have been mounting over a number of years, both financially and from an administration perspective, relating to the Development League,” Reaper said.

“With only eight of the 14 clubs fielding a development team, scheduling difficulties have grown each year, adding pressure to staff and volunteers with games increasingly being played at different grounds and often on different days to senior VFL games.

“The cost of running the Development League currently sits in excess of one million dollars between the competition and the clubs, and this is both not viable nor the best possible use of investment into the future when we are seeing clubs experience financial difficulties.

“We need to make sure we focus on a long-term strategy regarding the competition for all clubs, and we believe we can still continue to provide development opportunities for players to transition from TAC Cup or local football to the VFL without the Development League in place.

“Players are still able to develop within community football, and we believe this decision will help enhance relationships between community and VFL clubs and grow the depth of talent at community level into the future.

“Geelong draftees Timm House and Ryan Abbott are both examples of players that played local football last year when not selected for Geelong’s VFL team but were still drafted at the end of the season.”

The removal of the Development League is aimed at enabling VFL clubs to focus their resources on one senior team and the development of those players. This will help to ensure each team is competitive in the competition and enable players to receive more individual attention from coaches and medical staff. It should also enhance opportunities for closer alignments between VFL and VFL Women’s teams into the future.

“This is not a sudden decision, and AFL Victoria has looked at a number of viewpoints over recent years regarding this step in the talented player pathway,” Reaper said.

“A growing trend in the player pathway from the TAC Cup to the VFL in recent years has involved players leaving the TAC Cup, spending time in community football for a few years and then moving into the VFL with the aim of being drafted when both physically and emotionally ready.

”There will continue to be positions on lists for graduating TAC Cup players and they will still have opportunities to train and develop in a state-league environment.

“With North Melbourne fielding a standalone VFL team, Werribee going standalone and the possibility of Frankston re-entering the competition next year, there will be extra senior-list opportunities that will be available going forward as well.”

With no Development League in 2018, the club structure for those eight clubs affected will move to one similar to that currently used by clubs such as Collingwood, Essendon, Geelong, Footscray, North Ballarat and Richmond, where players not selected at VFL level will play local football.

Feedback received during the review of the Development League pointed towards some players being reluctant to join a VFL club if they were going to play reserves football and not playing with their nominated club if they missed selection in the VFL seniors.

“We would hope this move would enable clubs to better recruit to the competition and attract the best talent, with players not selected at senior level returning to local football to play for their nominated club,” Reaper said.

“Current clubs without Development League teams have been able to build strong relationships with local clubs and coaches, helping aid recruitment and the development of players.

“We will work with VFL clubs for the remainder of the season on the finer points of team structures for the 2018 season, including list numbers, possible rule changes, impact on the points system at a community level and further development opportunities for players throughout the 2018 season.

“From a coaching and umpiring pathway perspective, we would hope that state-league positions developed over the recent years within the VFL Women’s and TAC Cup Girls competition still provide opportunities at this level for coaches and umpires.”

In coming weeks, AFL Victoria will be releasing details of the competition structure for 2018, which will include North Melbourne and Werribee as standalone clubs. The only application under consideration is that of the Frankston FC to re-join the VFL for next season, with no other licences to be considered for the 2018 VFL competition.



comeng's picture

Ron you have counted Northern, Box Hill and Casey as stand alone when in reality they are the Carlton, Hawthorn and Melbourne reserves and would not survive without their AFL partner.  So the comp would end up with 10 AFL reserves sides and 5-7 VFL teams (Port, Williamstown, Werribee, Frankston, Sandringham, Coburg and North Ballarat).

Ron Burger
Ron Burger's picture

I'm not averse to the return of zoning / academies in a Victorian sense. 

Vertical integration of TAC teams with VFL stand alone and AFL reserves teams is feasible IMO.

Knights feed Carlton reserves / Northern VFL

Chargers: Collingwood / Port

Cannons: Essendon / Coburg

Jets: Footscray / Williamstown

Falcons: Geelong / Werribee

Dragons: St Kilda / Sandringham

Stingrays: Melbourne / Frankston

Power: Melbourne / Casey 

Ranges: Hawthorn / Box Hill

Rebels: North / Werribee

Bushrangers: Carlton / Northern

Pioneers: Richmond / Coburg

Basically the AFL club gets first crack in the rookie draft from its TAC alignment. Those not rookied then get aligned to the VFL/AFL reserves entities. Clubs can pick 50% of their list outside their "zone". 

Once a player reaches 20, they can choose to move to another AFL reserves/ VFL stand alone outside their area without any payment to the departure club. Local players who didn't come through TAC can slot into that 50% of the list not from the zone.

If a player doesn't get a VFL game, the major local competition has 5 clubs who list 4 players from the VFL/AFL reserves. Those clubs specifically have a development focus for the player not selected to play in the VFL. The benefit is they get a player who is being coached in the VFL system. The detriment is that at some stage they may/will lose him to the VFL competition during the season.


By the way who is this Reaper guy and whats his claim to fame?

Its alwyas a problem when someone with no xperience of an orgnisation and its history starts to ride roughshod the make his mark No doubt he would be on $200,000 plus and not worth it

.I also note with interest the the Saints and Sandy dont have a signed aggreement which makes it easy for St Kilda to give the Zebs the flick anytime they like.which they will as soon as Morrabbin is ready.

So I hope the Zebras have been saving their bickies with all the Saints seconds players playing ach week.This is like a bad marrage the sooner you are out of it the better.

Ron Burger
Ron Burger's picture

Big Thursday night billy?

Or did you post whilst riding a horse through the Dandenong Ranges?