Industry Players


Players’ concerns with the league’s competitive balance, research into the players’ wellbeing, and delving deeper into the under-reporting of concussions are some of the topics revealed in the third edition of the AFL Players’ Association’s Insights and Impact Report.

The Insights and Impact Report is an annual publication that aims to highlight the collective voices, insights, and experiences of AFL and AFLW players, while illustrating the impact the AFLPA has on its members.

This edition streamlines data and insights collected by the AFLPA and reveals the trends from the 2023 AFL season and Season 8 of the AFLW.

Key insights in the third edition (with page references inserted) include:

  • Concerns over competitive balance remain across both competitions (page 15).
  • AFLW club environment results have significantly improved but more work remains (page 15).
  • Fragmentation and under-resourcing in AFLW’s second-tier system impedes AFLW development (page 17).
  • The overall collective wellbeing of AFL and AFLW players is above that of the general population (page 41).
  • Players aged 18-21 report significantly higher anxiety scores than older players (page 44)
  • Game participation concerns lead to under-reporting of sports related concussions (page 45).
  • AFLW players are less comfortable raising issues than AFL players (page 48).
  • Persistent racial vilification of Indigenous and multicultural players remains, particularly on social media (page 55).


AFLPA CEO Paul Marsh said: “The Insights and Impact Report is an annual check on where we are at as an industry on key player-related areas – what we are getting right and what requires more focus, effort, and resources.

“This is a comprehensive report that provides insights on vital areas including club environments, player development and transition, AFLPA programs and services, health, safety and wellbeing, human rights, and accredited agents.

“The third edition celebrates the progress made in 2023, while acknowledging the work that needs to continue in areas such as player safety, racism and mental health.”

The report contains unique perspectives from a vast number of industry stakeholders, including current GWS AFL coach Adam Kingsley, former AFL and AFLW players Mitch Wallis and Ailish Considine, current AFL player Chad Wingard, AFLPA GM of Member Programs and Services Ben Smith and AFLPA CEO Paul Marsh.  It also includes pertinent quotes from former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins and former Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow, from the ‘Getting Ahead of the Game: Athlete Data in Professional Sport’ report.

AFLPA President, Patrick Dangerfield, said the report presents issues that are at the core of the playing group.

“The physical, mental, and emotional demands of the game continue to increase so it’s vital the industry identifies where it can improve and acts to ensure we’re at the forefront of domestic and world sport.

“Reports like the AFLPA’s Insights & Impact Report are a crucial industry tool for the clubs, players, agents, the AFL as well as the AFLPA to further enhance the environment for our people.  The power in this report is what happens next and the AFLPA will work with the industry to ensure the recommendations are considered and acted upon.”

This edition also includes recommendations for the AFLPA and the industry to adopt as well as a report on the progress against last year’s recommendations.

Click here to view the report