AFL Central Vic to commence an Under 18 male football competition in 2023
The AFL Central Victoria (AFL CV) Commission wishes to advise that they will commence an Under 18 male football competition in 2023. This decision follows consultation with all senior Leagues and clubs in the Greater Bendigo region during the 2022 season. In these discussions the Commission expressed concerns on the medium-term viability of the existing under 18 competition models given current participation rates.
The Loddon Valley Football Netball League (LVFNL) Board advised the AFL CV Commission that they decided not to operate an Under 18 football competition in 2023. This followed the AFL CV Commission providing a commitment to the LVFNL Board and Clubs that if they reached that conclusion, AFL CV would run an Under 18 competition. This will ensure that the LVFNL clubs who have sufficient players to field a team, have a competition to play in.
The purpose of offering this new AFL CV competition is to maximise the number of 17- and 18-year- old males playing football in the region (including those currently not playing), and to assist clubs develop sustainable pathways for players, coaches and families.
AFL CV already successfully operate senior women’s and junior girl’s competitions in geographies where they are insufficient players for existing leagues to run these competitions. Under 18 males in 2023 will be a third example where AFL CV ensure that all aspiring players have a competition to participate in.
AFL CV will work with all clubs, including those who are unlikely to have sufficient players for them to field a full team on their own, to ensure their players continue to participate. AFL CV will collaborate with clubs to assist in forming combined or aligned teams where applicable. Similarly, AFL CV will meet with clubs who have an excess of players for one team.
Clubs and teams from outside AFL CV’s existing geography are invited to express interest.
AFL CV are now actively recruiting staff to assist with the formation of teams and to manage the new competition.
While further work is required, there are elements of the planned AFL CV Under 18 competition which are known:
- Given AFL CV will prepare all fixtures for the new Under 18 competition, and already organise the fixtures for all the senior football competitions in the Greater Bendigo region, they will ensure alignment of location of Under 18 matches with the club’s senior teams wherever possible. This will maximise time that the Under 18 players connect with the players in the senior programs and also ensure the most efficient access to and use of match day volunteers.
- AFL CV will make any required adjustments to Player Points Rules to ensure the ‘home club’ status of players is protected should they play in a team aligned with another club.For further information please contact AFL CV Region General Manager Craig Armstead at firstname.lastname@example.org or 5434 2400.