THE Port Adelaide Football Club is disappointed in the decision by the SANFL regarding the use of AFL medical substitutes in the state league competition.

The SANFL Commission determined that a medical substitute who is activated and takes to the field at AFL level, will not be allowed to play in the SANFL on the same weekend regardless of the amount of time the player has spent on the field.

This decision is in direct contrast to the AFL announcement that a medical substitute player would be allowed to play state league football on the same weekend regardless of whether they had been activated or not.

“When the AFL announced the medical substitute rule it specifically stated that the substitute player would be permitted to participate at State League level regardless of whether they were activated during the AFL match,” Port Adelaide General Manager – Football, Chris Davies said.

“The SANFL have disregarded this position, putting them at odds with the AFL. This rule has been adopted by the VFL and the WAFL and the SANFL’s decision means there are now 16 clubs operating on one model and two on another.

“Unfortunately this issue is a microcosm of what we are facing with the SANFL on an increasingly regular basis. The AFL introduce rules and regulations to the state leagues under their auspices, designed to assist in the development of the game and the talent within it, with the SANFL picking and choosing the parts of the rules and regulations that they accept based on the position of the SANFL at the time.

“We’re now at a point where we have written to the AFL to highlight that these issues, when grouped, see us competing under materially different conditions to those of our AFL competitors. There can be no denying that the current environment compromises our ability to develop the talent available to our playing list when compared to our competitors in the AFL competition.

 Differing rules and limitations:

  • Access to state league contracted players
  • Access to Next Generation Academy and father-son players
  • Differing rules, ie. stand on the mark rule, ruck nomination rule, last touch out of bounds rule, medical substitute