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Statement: SANFL rule changes

THE PORT ADELAIDE Football Club acknowledges today’s SANFL Commission decision to adjust the rules as to how PAFC and AFC are able to attract contracted players to their respective lists.

The key elements of the approved rule changes, which will come into effect for season 2019, are:

  1. A $20,000 base payment salary cap (total) to retain contracted players, with a maximum of $4000 per player
  2. Access to all players in South Australia who are not on any other SANFL Club 1 – 40 lists, whether they have played at SANFL level or not in the last 18 months
  3. Access to AFL approved Next Generation Academy players in their draft year, after the Under 18 National Championships for four games
  4. Access to AFL approved Next Generation Academy players for the club’s SANFL contract list in the year after they are draft eligible
  5. A reduction in the age limit of the club’s “leadership player” to 26 years of age from off an AFL list

On the basis of these SANFL rule changes, Port Adelaide has determined it will no longer field an SANFL Reserves grade team.

Port Adelaide GM – Football Chris Davies believes the rule changes will provide an opportunity for the club to achieve sustained success at SANFL League level.

“We believe the rule changes will provide us with greater access to attract and retain talented players to be part of our SANFL contracted list and therefore provide us with a greater opportunity to win SANFL League premierships into the future,” said Davies.

“Port Adelaide has always strived to be as successful as possible at senior level in either the AFL or SANFL. Although it is disappointing to not field an SANFL Reserves grade team into the future we strongly believe these rule changes will give Port Adelaide the greatest opportunity for premiership success at SANFL League level.

“Port Adelaide now has a junior program with the AFL’s Next Generation Academies that effectively has taken the role of the SANFL Reserves team and is likely to help us deliver talent onto our AFL lists over time.

“On behalf of the entire club, I thank all those involved in our SANFL Reserves program this year – players, coaches, support staff and volunteers – for their commitment and effort in a most challenging season. You are all part of the Port Adelaide family and are welcome back to our club at any time.”

Davies endorsed each of the rule changes and believes they will provide great opportunities for Port Adelaide.

“The $20,000 base salary cap will enable us to attract and retain contracted players far better than we have in the past couple of years,” he said.

“To have access to all players in South Australia who are not on another SANFL club list will allow us to provide an opportunity to players, who for whatever reason, aren’t valued by their club or who have fallen out of the system.

“And from a leadership player perspective, the reduction of the age limit to 26 years provides us with a better opportunity of recruiting a recently de-listed AFL player who may still have plenty to offer in terms of mentoring and leadership.”

Davies said the most important element of the rule changes related to the club’s Next Generation Academy players.

“To now have access to our AFL approved Next Generation Academy players in their draft year, after the National Championships for four games, firstly gives us access to quality young talent in the final part of the season,” said Davies.

“But most significantly these players will now be able to come into our system from a young age and will be developed by us in conjunction with other SANFL programs. Moreover, they will also play for Port Adelaide before they get to draft age, giving us a further opportunity to assess their talent for our AFL list.

“And if our Next Generation Academy players are overlooked at the AFL Draft they are eligible to play for Port Adelaide in the SANFL the following season.”

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