The Port Adelaide Football Club Board of Directors has today unanimously voted to accept a formal invitation from the South Australian Football Commission to allow the club’s AFL-listed players to play under its Magpies banner in the SANFL League competition from 2014 onwards.

The Club has agreed to a model which allows all of its AFL-listed players who are not selected to play in the AFL competition on any given match weekend to play for the Magpies in the SANFL League competition.

A pool of 15 contracted SANFL players will also be eligible to play in either the club’s SANFL League or Academy team in the Reserves competition.

There is to be no age limit on the players selected for the contracted SANFL player list.

The remainder of the club’s SANFL Academy team will be comprised of a list of players aged between 18 and 22 years.

In 2014, the club is still required by the SANFL to field a team in the U18 Maccas Cup, U16 Maccas Shield and U15, U14 and U13 talent squad competitions.

From 2015 the club will no longer be permitted to field sides in these competitions and the current Magpies recruiting zones will be redistributed among the other eight SANFL clubs.

The club has worked to develop a replacement junior program in order to retain links with its local communities, particularly in its Port Adelaide heartland and on the west coast of South Australia.

From the 2015 season at the latest, the club will replace its traditional junior structure with several development programs for junior footballers.

Those pathways will include metropolitan and country development pathways, an Aboriginal player program, a Multicultural program and a father/son academy.

Port Adelaide chief executive officer Keith Thomas said the opportunity to have all of the club’s players representing it in either the AFL or SANFL is an important step for the advancement of the club’s direction.

“We are now, finally, one club, and all of Port Adelaide’s players will exclusively play for Port Adelaide,” said Mr Thomas.

“This important decision allows us to field teams committed to excellence in the AFL and SANFL as a united club.

“We have worked closely with the league to negotiate this solution and we believe it is the best way forward for preserving our traditional identity in the SANFL competition.

“Port Adelaide will be called the Magpies and wear our traditional black and white guernsey in SANFL football – that is our iron-clad commitment to our supporters.

“We have also made the commitment to ‘playing the line’ in the SANFL, but of course we have always been about striving to win premierships in every competition we play in.

“One non-negotiable was that we must be able to maintain our commitment to both elite and grassroots football in South Australia. We are delighted to have achieved this through this proposal.

“I thank all of the key stakeholders who have helped achieve this outcome and extend particular thanks to our supporters who have been very understanding of the situation we have worked through over the last three to four months.”

The key points of the agreement between the SANFL and the Port Adelaide Football Club are:

    » From 2014, all of Port Adelaide’s AFL-listed players will play for the club’s SANFL League team when not selected to play for the Power
    » The SANFL League team will be supported by a pool of 15 contracted SANFL-only players
    » Port Adelaide will operate an Academy team in the SANFL Reserves competition with a list of players aged 18-22.
    » All Port Adelaide teams participating in the SANFL will continue to use the Magpies nickname and wear the club’s traditional black and white guernsey
    » Port Adelaide is required to operate a conventional junior structure in 2014 including teams in the U18, U16 and talent squad competitions
    » Port Adelaide must disband its conventional junior structure and recruiting zones from 2015
    » Port Adelaide is permitted to attract sponsors for its SANFL team, providing these are not competing partners of the SANFL competition
    » Port Adelaide SANFL memberships are permitted to be sold independently and in conjunction with Port Adelaide AFL memberships
    » Port Adelaide will continue to play home matches at its traditional home ground Alberton Oval
    » All Port Adelaide players are eligible to win the Magarey Medal
    » Contracted pool of SANFL-only players are eligible to represent the state; AFL-listed players are ineligible to represent the state.
    » Port Adelaide commits to ‘playing the line’ including:
        - Not resting players and taking up elective surgery options
        - SANFL doctor to provide second opinion on surgeries prior to end of season.

Port Adelaide Football Club – Football structure 2014, and 2015 onwards

Port Adelaide AFL
   » Plays as the Power and wears current ‘V’ guernsey

Port Adelaide SANFL League
    » Plays as the Magpies and wears traditional black and white guernsey
    » Team composition permitted to include:
        - Any AFL-listed players not selected to play for the Power
        - Any members of a contracted list of 15 SANFL players

Port Adelaide SANFL Academy
    » Plays as the Magpies and wears traditional black and white guernsey in the SANFL Reserves competition
    » Team composition permitted to include:
        - Any members of contracted list of 15 SANFL players not selected to play for the SANFL League team
        - List of players aged between 18-22 years old

Port Adelaide U18 program
    » As per current arrangements
    » Ceases at the conclusion of the 2014 season

Port Adelaide U16 program
    » As per current arrangements
    » Ceases at the conclusion of the 2014 season

Port Adelaide talent squad programs
    » As per current arrangements
    » Ceases at the conclusion of the 2014 season

Port Adelaide junior development pathway programs
    » A series of junior football programs that may include the following:
    » A metropolitan academy
        - A country academy
        - An Aboriginal player academy
        - An international player academy
        - A father/son academy