Football player points system on horizon

A PLAYER points system could be implemented across Victoria by the start of the 2015 season.

AFL Goldfields regional general manager Rod Ward told The Courier he had a “strong degree of confidence” a system, which would act like a salary cap, would be introduced statewide throughout country and metropolitan leagues.

He said the Goldfields was one of several regions that had concerns with excessive player payments and said a combined working party was looking into how to resolve the issue through a system.

Ward said a discussion paper was expected in mid 2014 and a player points system model by the end of the year for implementation in the following season.

“I think that’s a real positive step,” Ward said.

“I’m a firm believer that players should get paid what they are entitled, but there’s no doubt rapid escalation of payments is a concern.”

Ward said a points system had been trialled in the Ballarat Football League in the past – and was still used in parts of Victoria – but clubs had seen the need for it to be established statewide to prove more successful.

North Ballarat Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald agrees. The triple VFL premiership coach said he was aware of “extreme” amounts of money offered to Roosters players from country and metropolitan teams and believed a points system would provide clubs an opportunity to “develop along sustainable lines”.

FitzGerald said each club within a league would be given the same points cap which it must not exceed for any one match. Each player in the senior team would be ranked according to past experience, with former AFL players rated the highest, ahead of VFL or state league players and so on. He said players developed from a club’s junior grades should be exempt from the cap.

“It’s more about encouraging clubs to develop their own players. That’s something really important to me. 

“From Auskick level right through to attracting players to the club, developing them well and then retaining them.

“It’s actually rewarding a club for attracting players and developing and retaining them.”

tim.oconnor@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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