Jump to content

National reserves comp as part of an Equalisation plan


Recommended Posts

So the biggest issue at the moment facing that AFL is how to fairly equalise the comp. Obviously the AFL are pretty strong on not ever changing the fixture back to a proper draw or distributing a fair number of high drawing games to the lesser comp. That's their prerogative and I can live it. And the rich clubs are heavily against handouts. So how do we even the comp out? Higher salary caps- no thanks, cash handouts, extra priority draft picks - I don't like any of that. The main problem as the Bulldogs will tell you now and as we can clearly see form Melbourne right now compared to 2010/2011 is what happens when you are a bad side and a small drawing team. You get a double whammy effect that really hurts the club.

Another big issue is the future of the VFL and the unfair advantage Collingwood and Geelong have got from fielding their own reserves whilst other teams like Melbourne prop up the standard of the competition. It's also unfair for interstate teams to have their players spread throughout several teams and for the northern teams for their players to play in the substandard NEAFL.

So I propose we use the equalisation money to fund a proper reserves league again.

I'd split it into two conferences - the West conference (WA, SA, 5 VIC teams) and the East conference (QLD, NSW, 5 VIC teams). Now to construct the 5 Victorian teams I'd split them based on the latter. The first, 4th and 5th placed VIC teams go West, the second, third and sixth VIC team go east. I'd then have a lottery with pre-draft percentages (which can change based on who played where each year) for the bottom 4 to split them one way or the other because to me playing the West teams is probably a disadvantage with the longer flight and time zone change to Perth not to mention the standard of the teams currently.

I'd then make it a 16 a side competition to try and make more AFL players available for selection and to keep costs on non AFL listed players to a minimum. It will also produce a less congested and more skillful form of footy. I'd have a bench from minimum 3 to maximum 6 taking it to 19-22 at the discretion of the clubs with a 23rd man from a relevant junior club ie. TAC (but more on that later). I'd also place training (to stop exploitation of AFL hopefulls) and salary restrictions on non AFL listed players to maintain the integrity of the reserves and not rob the state leagues that now stand alone. Clubs could have up to 2 marquee signings who could earn AFL rookie level wages. Guys like Troy Selwood at Geelong.

To me playing in line with the AFL fixture will represent a problem with ground allocation and timings. I'd go for a separate fixture. As for the fixture I'd have 3 preseason matches the last of which would correspond to AFL round 1. From then I'd run a 16 match season with 2 byes, one before and after the AFL bye weeks to keep the reserves running during AFL byes. For the interstate teams I'd give them 1 preseason match in the other interstate (ie. WA to SA) and 2 home. Same with the VICs, 2 home, 1 away. From then on I'd also draw 3 rivalry rounds a year allowing the interstate teams no travel with derbies and play everyone else twice a year. With the one non conference game also involving minimal travel.

Now how does this factor on equalisation when it's only going to cost the clubs more money? Well my idea here is that all teams end up playing finals come the end of the year and that prize money be distributed based on final result. I'd start to the finals in the fourth last round of the AFL year and have the top 7 in each conference progress through a finals system with second chances and wild cards and the bottom 2 fight it out for rankings 8-9 in each conference and playing the teams from rival conferences in the bottom 2. That way it stretches into September. Then of course a combined grand final. The idea that almost all clubs get to partake in finals is to allow clubs who have been injury ravaged throughout the year to overcome that. If you have 12 injuries on your list you are down to at most 10 guys for your reserve side compared to no injuries at 22 so injuries have to be accounted for.

Now this is where equalisation can come into part. I'd make the prize money very generous and the finals qualifications very relaxed - 4 game minimum in reserves or no more than 5 senior games and 2 game minimum in reserves. That way struggling clubs like Melbourne can field a very strong reserves side towards the second half of the season and give us something to cheer about. Then come the end of the year we will be in reserves finals. Stronger AFL teams will be playing AFL finals and not have the luxury of strong reserves teams. It keeps reserve footy running into September for weaker clubs as well. I'd also introduce a mandatory away from clubs holiday period of October and November for all clubs. End of the day we make it towards the reserves finals and we pick up a couple of extra million.

I'd have 6-9 in each division receiving - 0.5 to 1 million in staggered amounts

5 - 1.25 million

4 - 1.5mil

3 - 1.8 mil

2 - 2.1 mil

grand final loser 2.6 mil

grand final winner 3 mil

Now I believe the NEAFL in QLD/NSW/NT would struggle without the QLD/NSW reserve teams they currently have but I doubt anyone will miss it. NT has a strong league, QLD had a pretty decent stand alone league and NSW/canberra can have a league developed without Tom Mitchell running around getting 56 touches. I believe the WAFL and SANFL will survive without each team having a couple of AFL players in them each week.

The VFL is in for a big change but it's already struggling to accommodate more stand alone AFL and VFL clubs. I suggest the VFL re-emerges as the VFA with Port, Frankston, Werribee, Williamstown, North Ballarat, Bendigo Gold, Sandringham and Coburg. At the same time teams that want to continue alliances like Casey and Box Hill are allowed to with these clubs being their respective AFL teams reserves. There would have to be a separation of lists though otherwise the depth for teams like Casey/Melb would be far greater than anyone else. The Casey demons can play in the AFL reserves with the Casey scorpions playing in the VFA reserves with both teams under the Casey Scorpions club and playing at Casey fields.

Also in line with other states I'd like to see the TAC merged with the (reborn) VFA. The clubs should roughly match up to the TAC clubs - Bendigo, Ballarat, Sandy etc. already do and others make simple changes(Frankston-Dandenong), Williamstown (Western), Coburg (Northern), Werribee (Geelong falcons). It will keep AFL support into the VFA through the under 18 program and provide them with ready players. It would also equalise junior pathways with that of the SANFL and WAFL.

So thoughts:

- Gives bottom AFL teams a shot at success for the end of the season in the reserves

- Allows struggling smaller teams a way to prevent financially disasterous seasons

- Gives bottom AFL teams a chance to develop a wining culture in their younger players

- Maintains the AFL clubs will focus on keeping a high standard of experienced players who will be vital to be seniors and reserves coming through

- Gives struggling financial clubs a way to earn money legitimately

- 2 teams to cheer on each week

- Opportunity for reserves footy at traditional AFL grounds - Vic park, Princess park, Geelong, Windy Hill, Western Oval

- More big games in WA/SA for footy fans to go to - ie. West Coast fans who can't get into AFL games would attend a Freo v WCE reserves match

- Lets the WAFL, SANFL and VFA stand alone and continue their traditions


- Is open to tanking/manipulation - but with no AFL priority pick the incentive isn't there and if you are boosting your reserves for the sake of the seniors in August then what does it matter? At least you are giving your fans something to cheer about and not deliberately giving guys weeks off/sending for surgery

- Dismantles the current VFL structure and changes second tier footy in other states however I can see this as a positive as the current VFL structure has been rewarding the rich at expense of the poor both for AFL and stand alone VFL clubs.

- Increased travel for young players - however for example Freo reserves I'd schedule 8 home games, 2 away to WC, 1 away to Port and Adel and 4 trips to Melb. For Melb reserves 8 home games, 4 away in Melb, 4 away in WA/SA.

- Increased expense for the AFL/Clubs - travel allowance for the interstate teams extra 2 travels and prize money to be funded by the AFL. The clubs should be able to recoup their costs in prize money along with ticketing/sponsorship etc. The AFL can diminish the amount spent on equalistion which is much higher than this prize money - http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/rich-clubs-kick-up-stink-over-funding-20110926-1ktlh.html

- If your list is a complete mess and also you have terrible coaching you might end up bad in both competitions leaving you in a financial and football black hole

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Demonland Forums  

  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles  

    HEAVEN OR HELL by The Oracle

    Clashes between Melbourne and St Kilda are often described as battles between the forces of heaven and hell. However, based on recent performances, it’s hard to get excited about the forthcoming match between these two sides. It would be fair to say that, at the moment, both of these teams are in the doldrums. The Demons have become the competition’s slow starters while the Saints are not only slow to begin, they’re not doing much of a job finishing off their games either. About the only th

    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons

    THE BLOW by Whispering Jack

    Narrm’s finals prospects took a crushing blow after the team’s insipid performance at Optus Stadium against a confident Waaljit Marawar in the first of its Doug Nicholls Round outings for 2024.  I use the description “crushing blow” advisedly because, although the season is not yet at it’s halfway mark, the Demons have now failed abysmally in two of their games against teams currently occupying bottom eight places on the ladder.  The manner in which these losing games were played out w

    Demonland |
    Match Reports 6

    HALF FULL by KC from Casey

    It was a case of the Casey Demons going into a game with a glass half full in their match up against the Brisbane Lions at Casey Fields on Saturday. As the list of injured and unavailable AFL and VFL listed players continues to grow and with Melbourne taking all three emergencies to Perth for the weekend on a “just in case” basis, its little brother was always destined to struggle. Casey was left with only eight AFL listed players from who to select their team but only two - an out-of-form

    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    PREGAME: Rd 11 vs St. Kilda

    The Demons return to the MCG to take on the Saints in Round 11 on the back of two straight losses in a row. With Jake Lever out with concussion who comes in and who goes out?

    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 360

    PODCAST: Rd 10 vs West Coast

    The Demonland Podcast will air LIVE on Monday, 20th May @ 8:30pm. Join George, Binman & I as we dissect the Demons disaapoiting performance against the Eagles at Optus Stadium in Round 10. You questions and comments are a huge part of our podcast so please post anything you want to ask or say below and we'll give you a shout out on the show. If you would like to leave us a voicemail please call 03 9016 3666 and don't worry no body answers so you don't have to talk to a human.

    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 45

    VOTES: Rd 10 vs West Coast

    Last week Captain Max Gawn consolidated his lead over reigning champion Christian Petracca in the Demonland Player of the Year Award. Steven May, Alex Neal-Bullen & Jake Lever make up the Top 5. Your votes for the loss against the Blues. 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 37

    POSTGAME: Rd 10 vs West Coast

    Many warned that this was a danger game and the Demons were totally outclassed all game by a young Eagles team at Optus Stadium in Perth as they were defeated by 35 points.

    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 445

    GAMEDAY: Rd 10 vs West Coast

    It's Game Day and the Demons have returned to the site of their drought breaking Premiership to take on the West Coast Eagles in what could very well be a danger game for Narrm at Optus Stadium. A win and a percentage boost will keep the Dees in top four contention whilst a loss will cast doubt on the Dees flag credentials and bring them back to the pack fighting for a spot in the 8 as we fast approach the halfway point of the season.

    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 884

    WARNING by William from Waalitj

    As a long term resident of Waalitj Marawar, I am moved to warn my fellow Narrm fans that a  danger game awaits. The locals are no longer the easybeats who stumbled, fumbled and bumbled their way to the good fortune of gathering the number one draft pick and a generational player in Harley Reid last year. They are definitely better than they were then.   Young Harley has already proven his worth with some stellar performances for a first year kid playing among men. He’s taken hangers, k

    Demonland |
    Match Previews 22
  • Tell a friend

    Love Demonland? Tell a friend!
  • Create New...