IF MANAGED well, North Ballarat Roosters' decision to axe its development team will fast-track how the game is evolving in Ballarat community clubs.
There are so many logistical issues yet to come into play - and the club has assured it will work with all parties to smooth these out. It already has for most.
But the basics are this: the Selkirk Roosters are competitive players in arguably the nation's best state league; the club works closely in partnership with North Melbourne, including access to Kangaroos' facilities and tactical assessments; players are exposed to AFL-listed players, with by playing with or against, every game.
Players on the Roosters' list, which will be cut to about 35, will be expected to step straight into Victorian Football League games when needed.
Those not needed could be playing at your community club.
They will offer all the skills and knowledge they are absorbing in the Roosters' program to your community club.
This will mean the Roosters will need to strengthen relationships with their players' designated clubs to ensure the best for all parties.
Adaptation is crucial.
As the AFL game style and tactics change, the flow-on quickly becomes evident in the VFL.
The Roosters must ensure all their players are adapting in the same fashion - and their community clubs must be up-to-date and evolving in the same way.
Our regional clubs can only stand to benefit.
Clubs may be concerned the Roosters could promote a key player at short notice.
This is the same model the Roosters deal with weekly under North Melbourne.
For example, key defender Luke Delaney took the best tall forward each week and earned promotion to the Kangaroos where he finished the season strong.
This opened a chance for young second-year player Bryce Curnow to step up, follow Delaney's lead and filled the role well.
Players learn from those on more senior lists.
Roosters chief executive officer Mark Patterson made clear the club would work closely with leagues to put in place control measures to stop clubs loading up on
Most players will remain aligned with Ballarat-based clubs, particularly those with ties to their old junior ranks.
Issues will arise in Roosters' out-of-town recruits who wish to transfer their club football to Ballarat.
Or, those who wish to transfer to clubs in a stronger country football league, like the Ballarat Football League.
It will be interesting how they will be billeted out - perhaps the SANFL draft model for Adelaide and Port Adelaide AFL-listed players could work.
This will most affect the BFL.
Fringe Roosters' players, and those returning from injury, will want to be playing at the strongest and highest level possible to ensure they are match-ready for a call-up to the VFL. In Ballarat, the highest level is undoubtedly the BFL
Where North Ballarat could miss out in the change, is the potential loss of American AFL rookie Eric Wallace.
The Roosters have played a key role in Wallace's game, his introductory season, in their development team. In return, Wallace has become a staunch supporter of the club and its players.
Wallace might need to continue his exciting journey elsewhere, and the Kangaroos are lucky they also share a partial alignment with VFL club Werribee, which will continue its D-League team.
The VFL rebranded its reserves competition to the AFL Victoria Development League for the 2012 season to promote the fact it is a pathway between TAC Cup and VFL senior level.
AFL stand-alone clubs, which are increasing in the VFL, do not sport such teams which creates a strain on club volunteer resources to work two different fixtures.
For regional clubs, like Ballarat, the strain is more keenly felt.
The alternative has the potential to suit the whole community better.