K rock Football

Pathway changes revealed

Geelong VFL captain Aaron Black flies for a mark during the 2019 season. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

GEELONG will have three options when it comes to playing non-AFL selected members of its list in 2021.

The AFL has revealed its post-COVID talent pathway plans, with the VFL program to absorb the NEAFL program, which has been home to the NSW and Queensland AFL clubs’ reserve grade team, as well as five others teams from across the northern states.

A Northern Territory team, the NT Thunder, was also part of the competition until last year.

The three options in front of the Cats are:

  •  Fielding a standalone team
  •  Aligning with an existing Second-Tier Club
  •  Spreading their AFL-listed players across multiple Second-Tier Clubs

“Second-Tier football in 2021 will be a year of transition that will see the AFL take into consideration the impact of a reduced AFL Soft Cap, the level of AFL Club investment and resource allocation across Men’s and Women’s football programs, any Player CBA revisions and any associated impact on player list sizes,” the AFL said in a statement.

“The model for Second-Tier Women’s Football in Victoria is currently still under review with the AFL to finalise this model in due course.”

Meanwhile, the NAB League, which is home to the Geelong Falcons boys and girls team, will become an under-19 competition in 2021.

The age groups for the National Championships will also be adjusted to under-17 and under-19 next year.

However, the minimum age for the AFL and AFLW draft will remain at 18.

Twitter: @tom_king79