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VFL And East Coast Second-Tier AFL Competition To Replace VFL

T
he AFL has announced a new VFL and East Coast Second-Tier Competition, set to include six teams from NSW and Queensland, as well as 15 from Victoria.

The name of the new competition is yet to be confirmed, but it was confirmed the league will run a 16-round season, standing alongside the SANFL and WAFL as the highest level of competition below the AFL.

The 22 sides in the new competition include 11 AFL reserve sides from all three states, along with 11 stand-alone second-tier clubs, with eight continuing from the existing VFL competition and Aspley and Southport joining from the NEAFL.

The stand-alone second-tier clubs will have a salary cap of $200,000, while the AFL aligned clubs will have a cap of $100,000, with no license fee to participate in the league and the AFL prepared to subsidise all travel for interstate matches.

The VFL and East Coast Second-Tier Competition, as the AFL referred to it as in a statement, is set to replace the VFL in April 2021, running concurrently with the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

The AFL also said it will continue to review all arrangements including return-to-train and return-to-play protocols in consultation with the relevant clubs, State Governments and health officers to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in the competition.

The standalone Second-Tier clubs include Aspley, Coburg, Frankston, Northern Bullants, Port Melbourne, Southport, Werribee, and Williamstown.

The confirmed ‘aligned clubs’ include Sandringham (St Kilda), Box Hill Hawks (Hawthorn), and Casey Demons (Melbourne).

The standalone AFL clubs in the competition are Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Footscray (Western Bulldogs), Geelong Cats, Gold Coast SUNS, GWS GIANTS, North Melbourne, Richmond, and Sydney Swans.