CLUB STATEMENT RE: VFLW
CEO Jason Reddick has provided clarity on the current position of the VFLW.
Williamstown Football Club is proactively working with the AFL and other Clubs to determine if a VFLW season can commence in 2020.
We have a very motivated playing group who are eager to get back to training and playing competitive State League football as soon as possible in 2020.
Our Club is certainly promoting that view in all our discussions with the AFL and other Clubs.
As per the situation with the VFL system, the VFLW faces a number of hurdles to overcome before confirmation of a season can commence, namely:
- State Government and AFL delivering a Full Return to Train and Return to Play roadmap.
- Financing the competition in lieu of crowd attendances.
- Health protocols to ensure the safety of players.
- Insurance arrangements for players.
The additional issue in the VFLW environment is that, unlike the VFL which is exploring a season with eight independent teams, there are only four non-AFLW Clubs involved in the VFLW competition: Box Hill, Darebin, Essendon and Williamstown.
In order to have a State League competition of any integrity, we need the AFLW Clubs to commit to a VFLW season in 2020.
As we know, AFL Clubs withdrew their players from VFL competition due to their concerns over controlling players’ health environments.
AFLW Clubs are also facing a number of complexities with their playing list not yet finalised, as the AFLW player draft and trade period has not yet been undertaken.
In addition, AFL Clubs have both financial and staff resource matters to consider, with a number of VFLW Coaches and staff having been stood down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We continue to work closely with the AFL to explore all options for a season, which we now know can extend into October, given this week’s joint agreement between AFL Victoria and Cricket Victoria re: use of venues.
As with the VFL program, we continue to conduct weekly Zoom meetings with our VFLW playing group, coaches and staff, to inform them of any new developments as they come to hand and answer questions with what information we have.
Likewise, we will continue to inform our members as soon as further progress is made.