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The AFL has confirmed that 22 licences have been granted for the second-tier competition to showcase football on the eastern seaboard from next year, replacing the VFL and NEAFL competitions.
In a radical overhaul to the AFL feeder system, the new competition – including eight standalone clubs, 12 teams from existing AFL clubs and three aligned clubs from the old VFL competition – will play out across a 16-round fixture from next April.
The AFL says the yet-to-be-named competition will be on a par with the WAFL in Western Australia and SANFL in South Australia as feeder leagues for the national competition.
"The VFL and east coast second-tier competition will sit alongside the SANFL and the WAFL in 2021 to provide players with the highest level of second-tier football," the AFL said in a media release.
"The AFL will continue to work with all AFL clubs on their non-selected AFL players ahead of their respective 2021 seasons."
"The AFL will continue to work closely with AFL NSW / ACT and AFL Queensland to ensure the continued development and progression of premier men’s and women’s competitions in the state and territory."
There will be different salary cap limits for the various clubs: $200,000 for standalone clubs and $100,000 for AFL and aligned clubs.
Standalone Second-Tier Clubs: Aspley, Coburg, Frankston, Northern Bullants, Port Melbourne, Southport, Werribee, Williamstown
Standalone AFL Clubs: Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Footscray, Geelong Cats, Gold Coast SUNS, GWS GIANTS, North Melbourne, Richmond, Sydney Swans
Aligned Clubs: Sandringham, Box Hill Hawks, Casey Demons
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