The AFL Players’ Association have announced the formation of a ‘Players and the Game Committee’ to provide players with a stronger voice on the future direction of the game.
Recent survey results and discussions between the PA and its members identified a strong voice from the players as a key priority.
The Committee will be made up of eight players who have strong and respected voices within the AFL industry and well-developed views on the game.
“Forming a diverse and united group provides us with great insight into the current conditions, whilst also helping to formulate educated recommendations on the future of the game.” – Jack trengove
AFL Players’ Association General Manager – Player Relations, Ian Prendergast, says the group will allow player representatives on the AFL Laws of the Game Committee to present views that are truly representative of all players.
“The establishment of this group is timely given the increased focus that will be on laws of the game and the competition structure this year, particularly around the cap on rotations, the substitute rule and the second bye, together with the AFL commencing negotiations for the next broadcaster rights deal,” Prendergast said.
The Committee will be made up of one player from each state and four players from Melbourne-based clubs. The players nominated by their respective playing groups are:
• Gold Coast – Gary Ablett
• Brisbane – Tom Rockliff
• Sydney – Dan Hannebery
• GWS – Heath Shaw
• Richmond – Jack Riewoldt
• Melbourne – Nathan Jones
• Essendon – Brendon Goddard
• Carlton – Chris Judd
• North Melbourne – Drew Petrie
• Hawthorn – Sam Mitchell
• Western Bulldogs – Will Minson
• Collingwood – Scott Pendlebury
• St Kilda – Jarryn Geary
• Geelong – Steven Johnson
• Adelaide – Rory Sloane
• Port Adelaide – Kane Cornes
• West Coast – Scott Selwood
• Fremantle – Nathan Fyfe
Eight players will make up the Committee but all nominated representatives will form the ‘Players and the Game Working Group’ and will receive any information provided to the Committee, be invited to attend meetings when others can’t, and to provide their views and those of their teammates.
Current AFL Players’ representative on the AFL Laws of the Game Committee, Jack Trengove, says it’s vital that the players, as key stakeholders, not only have a strong voice, but are heard in terms of the direction of the game.
“Forming a diverse and united group provides us with great insight into the current conditions, whilst also helping to formulate educated recommendations on the future of the game,” Trengove said.
Richmond star forward Jack Riewoldt says it’s important for all parties who love our great game to have a considered say on its direction.
“Administrators, fans and players are the driving forces for the AFL and all need to be heard on the important issues the game faces,” Riewoldt said.
Geelong representative Steve Johnson is also looking forward to sharing his views on the game.
“As someone who thinks a lot about the game and is passionate about making it the best possible spectacle for fans, I’m excited to be involved in this discussion with such a quality group of players,” Johnson said.
While the specific purpose of the Committee will be decided at its first meeting, the current aims are:
• to provide players with a stronger collective voice on issues relating to how the game is played and the structure of the competition;
• to explore what players consider the ideal AFL game and competition structure to be;
• to undertake in-depth research and analysis in relation to matters being considered; and
• develop proactive positions and recommendations on behalf of all players.