K rock Football

Expanded second-tier revealed

Teammates celebrate Stefan Okunbor’s first goal as a Geelong player. (Geelong Cats Image/Arj Giese)

GEELONG will form part of 22-team second-tier competition covering the length and breadth of the east coast of Australia.

The AFL has confirmed the fee-free licences for the 2021 season, which will feature 16 home-and-away rounds.

The Cats are one of 11 standalone AFL clubs in the competition, including Sydney, GWS Giants, Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast, while Sandringham (St Kilda), Box Hill Hawks (Hawthorn) and Casey Demons (Melbourne) are the three AFL-aligned clubs.

Queensland duo Aspley and Southport are the only non-AFL-aligned teams out of the NEAFL join the competition, joining Werribee, Coburg, Frankson, Port Melbourne, Williamstown and the resurrected Northern Bullants as the standalone second-tier clubs.

The yet-to-be-named competition will start in April and will be integrated alongside the NAB League.

MEANWHILE, the VFLW competition will feature 12 teams and run concurrently with the AFLW competition and the NAB League Girls season.

Port Melbourne has joined the competition for the first time and will act as the feeder team for Richmond’s AFLW program.

Twitter: @tom_king79

Standalone Second-Tier Clubs: Aspley, Coburg, Frankston, Northern Bullants, Port Melbourne, Southport, Werribee, Williamstown
Standalone AFL Clubs: Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Footscray, Geelong, Gold Coast, GWS Giants, North Melbourne, Richmond, Sydney Swans
Aligned Clubs: Sandringham, Box Hill Hawks, Casey Demons

Carlton, Casey Demons, Collingwood, Darebin Falcons, Essendon, Geelong, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne Southern Saints, Western Bulldogs and Williamstown.