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Bearsman's picture
Season 2021

I have heard whispers that the AFL is looking at a late start to next season, most likely June, as this is the earliest Dan will allow crowds to watch live sport. If thats the case it will probably a very short VFL season.

Has anybody heard anything about this?

NorthPort's picture

From The Age website (visit for full article


Field your own, align, spread: AFL's three options for reserves teams

Jake Niall

By Jake Niall

August 19, 2020 — 8.20pm

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AFL clubs could have three options for reserves teams in 2021: fielding their own teams, aligning with a current VFL club or even spreading listed players among more than one VFL club.

The AFL will definitely allow teams to field their own reserves sides, with an alignment – such as Hawthorn's Box Hill arrangement and Melbourne's with Casey Demons – also an expected option in what is likely to be to an expanded eastern seaboard competition with the Swans, Giants, Suns and Lions fielding sides.

AFL clubs will have three options for their reserves players in 2021.

AFL clubs will have three options for their reserves players in 2021.CREDIT: SEBASTIAN COSTANZO

The AFL may allow teams to settle on the model that suits the individual clubs. Hawthorn, Melbourne and St Kilda could stick with alignments (St Kilda are aligned with Sandringham in the VFL), but other Victorian teams could have the option of spreading the players who are not getting a game into at least two VFL teams.

Some Victorian clubs have made noises about not fielding a fully funded reserves team and instead playing "scratch matches" between one another – as the clubs are this year with no VFL competition – because they feel they will struggle to field a proper reserves team under the AFL's soft cap of just $6.2 million.



But the AFL is highly unlikely to buckle to the clubs that want extra money in the football cap for reserves, arguably a blow to the richer teams that have the resources to field their own sides in a more lavish fashion.

The second-tier competition cannot be finalised until the AFL settles on list sizes for 2021, with a reduction in lists on the cards.


The AFL view is that clubs could have the opportunity to choose their own preferred model for reserves, and that if they do not wish to field an AFL reserves team – as the northern teams likely will – the Victorian clubs can either form an alignment with VFL clubs or even spread players into two or more of those sides.

The model of spreading AFL players into more than one VFL team has existed in the recent past, North Melbourne having divided the players who don't play at senior level between Werribee and North Ballarat at one stage, while the Saints had one player at Frankston even when fully aligned with Sandringham; this model was once used in the SANFL and WAFL with the Crows, Port Adelaide, West Coast and Fremantle.





Collingwood celebrate winning the 2019 VFLW premiership.


VFLW season shift on the cards

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The standalone VFL teams – Port Melbourne, Williamstown, Werribee, Coburg and Frankston – plus Box Hill, Sandringham and Casey will have the opportunity to participate in the expanded reserves or VFL-plus-northern states competition next year.

Richmond, Collingwood, Essendon, Geelong, North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs (as Footscray) all fielded their own reserves teams in the VFL last year, while St Kilda, Hawthorn, Melbourne and Carlton were aligned. VFL sources said the Northern Blues, with whom Carlton ended their association earlier this year, have not given up hope of resuming in the revamped competition next year.


* It's time to restore the VFA name.


I hope Sandy take the chance to piss St Kilda off once and for all and just take some AFL players from two other clubs!

NorthPort's picture

That would be a great result to see the Zebs go standalone. If the Bullants can go from zero to up and running (hopefully) just as Frankston have, the surely Sandringham are better placed. 


* It's time to restore the VFA name.

blackrocker's picture

With no footy this year I,ve  been weened off supporting the Sandy & St Parisites arrangement.  I will closely watch developments before commiting  to 2021.

Don't forget to watch  Local Footy on 7pm Fri Ch 41; repeated at 9am Sat.

vfa's picture

The Local Footy Show is a must. I watch it every Friday night without fail.
Phil Cleary was a great interview last Friday as was Frankie Vergona a few weeks ago.