On Monday the AFL announced the 2021 East Coast Reserves season is set to begin on Saturday April 17, which will see state league men’s footy return to Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales after a 2020 season affected by COVID-19.
Despite the involvement of six teams from New South Wales and Queensland, the AFL has announced that the competition will be known as the Victorian Football League (VFL).
The home and away season will feature 22 clubs and will consist of a 16-game season across 19 rounds.
The largest second-tier football competition in Australia will provide all players with a premium standard of football.
A top-eight finals structure will commence on Saturday August 28 with the Grand Final to be held on the weekend of September 18/19. All clubs will have three allocated byes to provide an added level of flexibility to adjust where required.
The competition will integrate into a streamlined calendar for men’s football with the 2021 NAB League Boys, with both seasons running concurrently with the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
The 2021 fixture is set to be released at the end of February given the connection to the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
The involvement of AFL-listed players from 14 AFL clubs in the reserves competition is central to the fixturing of the season.
Club practice matches will commence in March.
The GIANTS have been running trials for top-up players with local Sydney and Canberra clubs to promote strong local ties to the club’s second-tier program alongside the incorporation of GIANTS Academy players.
The GIANTS' reserves side will be coached by Development Coach Luke Kelly.
Standalone Clubs: Aspley, Coburg, Frankston, Northern Bullants, Port Melbourne, Southport, Werribee, Williamstown
Standalone AFL Clubs: Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Footscray, Geelong Cats, Gold Coast SUNS, GWS GIANTS, North Melbourne, Richmond, Sydney Swans
Aligned Clubs: Sandringham, Box Hill Hawks, Casey Demons