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AFL Barwon Future of Football & Netball Project Media Statement

16 February 2024


In September 2023, the AFL Barwon Future of Football & Netball Project commenced with the approach to capitalise on regional opportunities and address strategic challenges across Male & Female, Junior & Senior, Football & Netball across the Barwon region.

Following the release of the AFL Barwon Senior Male Football & Senior Netball Proposal on December 5 in conjunction with the third Townhall Forum, AFL Barwon & Clubs have actively engaged in understanding where they see themselves within the proposed model.

On Tuesday evening (February 13), AFL Barwon met with Presidents & representatives from BFNL & GFNL Clubs to discuss their indicative positions on the proposal, providing AFL Barwon with collective feedback as to their points of satisfaction and contention.



  • Upward and downward movement between leagues/divisions was a supported concept across half of BFNL & GFNL Clubs;
  • Volunteerism numbers and workload a challenge and a consideration for this within the proposal;
  • Concerns on future APPs (Allowable Player Payments (i.e. salary cap)) & Player Points allocations (i.e. Total Team Points) - how these should be structured and where maximums and minimums should be set;
  • Strong desire to maintain history and community connection between Clubs across the Bellarine & Geelong; and
  • Acknowledgement that new Senior Clubs need a secure and sustainable pathway to participate in the future.



In favour of the Proposal as presented to Clubs on December 5:

Bell Park FNC, Geelong West FNC, Ocean Grove FNC, Portarlington FNC, South Barwon FNC, St. Joseph’s FNC, and St. Mary’s SC.

Not in favour of the Proposal as presented to Clubs on December 5:

Anglesea FNC, Barwon Heads FNC, Colac FNC, Drysdale FNC, Geelong Amateur FNC, Grovedale FNC, Lara FNC, Leopold FNC, Modewarre FNC, Newcomb FNC, Newtown & Chilwell FNC, North Shore FNC, Queenscliff FNC, St. Albans FNC, and Torquay FNC.



Following Tuesday night’s meeting, AFL Barwon acknowledged there is more work required to further develop and supporting the structures that assist in addressing equalisation, sustainability of APPs & Player Points, as well as the support to Clubs with volunteerism and other strategic challenges, whilst providing a landscape that allows new Clubs to enter in the future, which supports growth opportunities, and prioritises Club sustainability.

The AFL Barwon Commission is due to meet on several occasions in the coming weeks and will continue open dialogue with all Clubs (inc. GDFNL & Junior-only Clubs), with continuous updates on the progress of the AFLB Future of Football & Netball Project.