AFL confirm support for state leagues 

The AFL have re-stated their support for the existing state league football structure.

In a recent statement delivered to the Presidents and CEO’s of all the VFL stand-alone clubs, the AFL Head of Talent Pathways & State League Competitions, Mr Tristan Salter, said: “Following recent inaccurate media reports on the future of 2nd tier competitions, the AFL provides the following response: State League competitions and your clubs play a critical role in the development of elite talent and provide the highest level of competition outside of the AFL while ensuring a strong connection to community. State Leagues also provide important pathway opportunities for staff (administrators / coaches / fitness / trainers / medical). No decision has been made to change the structure of second tier competitions, and we are focused on strengthening the existing talent pathways to ensure the best opportunity is afforded to players to compete at the highest level possible.”

Williamstown CEO Jason Reddick welcomed the support “Every VFL stand-alone club’s key stakeholders, our members, players, staff, corporate partners and local and state government, all get nervous when hearing media talk about AFL Reserves competition and what it might mean for our clubs. Our board in particular, look to that AFL long term support for our Club to continue our significant investments in facilities for the football industry and local community. That’s why it is so important that the AFL has quashed this media rumor, and it is terrific that they have fully committed to the current state league competition structure.

Our Club’s Vision Statement is “to be recognised by the football industry and the wider community as the best Australian Rules Football Club outside of the National AFL Competition”, so all Seagull supporters know that our club is committed to our VFL and VFLW teams playing at this second tier level.

Talent Pathway
As a talent pathway, our Club has just produced a VFL record of four players entering into the AFL system in one season, as well as delivering the #2 AFLW draftee Sophie van de Heuvel from our VFLW side. Off-field, we have seen our GM Football (Collingwood), Doctors (Melbourne, Hawthorn), and High Performance Manager (Essendon) all progress to the elite level in the last few years, and we continue to provide professional development opportunities to staff.

Downer Oval hosted over 38 different football teams in 2018, and our community programs reach thousands of Hobsons Bay residents through primary schools, secondary schools, Auskick centres, sporting clubs, as well as a number of charitable causes.

With the support of local Council, State Government and AFL, our club’s facility investment in Downer Oval has seen the delivery of new light towers in 2019 to enable state league night games. We are looking to compliment the new lights with installation of a TV scoreboard, new Women’s changerooms, match day facilities, gymnasium, and a ground upgrade in the near future.



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