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Big signings, new rules: What we do - and don't - know about mystery new AFL comp
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Big signings, new rules: What we do - and don't - know about mystery new AFL comp
The AFLW season is underway, while a flexible and agile AFL fixture for 2021 has been released.

Yet there's still a bit to play out around the new VFL and East Coast Second-Tier Competition.

Although, we do know the league will be called the 'VFL' – a decision that's irked a few that live outside Victoria. But more on that later.

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Amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia last year, AFL players that missed out on senior selection were placed in unique yet arguably unideal circumstances.

The NEAFL season was cancelled at the start of 2020 due to the infeasibility of interstate travel pandemic, while the VFL competition was postponed then ultimately scrapped as Victorians endured several coronavirus-enforced lockdowns.

But even if the NEAFL and VFL had somehow managed to get up and running last year, AFL players wouldn't have featured anyway, with the league ruling that all AFL-listed players couldn't play in state leagues.

Mabior Chol and Isaac Quaynor took part in a Richmond-Collingwood scratch match last year. Picture: Scott Barbour Source: AAP

It meant Adelaide and Port Adelaide couldn't field sides in the SANFL – it was the first time in the league's history Port, a SANFL foundation club, hadn't competed in the league – while West Coast was pulled out of the WAFL and no Fremantle-listed players could represent Peel Thunder for the season.

Instead, AFL clubs were forced to organise scrimmages, often with a smaller number of players on the field. Sometimes, players from opposing clubs swapped jumpers in order to get games into players outside of their best 22.

But as things stand, we won't be seeing that in 2021.

The Crows and Port will return to the SANFL, while West Coast is back in the WAFL and Peel will be strengthened by the return of Dockers reserves players.

The biggest change, though, concerns AFL and…
Ben Waterworth and Matt Balmer
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