STAR Hawk Jaeger O'Meara believes smaller playing lists in the future would help ensure a high standard in the AFL.

The AFL is yet to publicly issue a stance on the hot topic of reduced list sizes but key decision-makers have canvassed with club counterparts the potential of slashing them from about 45 to 35 or even fewer.

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Those discussions were being had even before the global coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the game's economy.

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O'Meara has long been an advocate for fewer footballers on AFL lists, which would have a flow-on effect for state league competitions.

"To be honest, I don't mind the idea of cutting list sizes – and that was actually before any of this stuff happened," O'Meara told

"There are so many players across the competition and maybe the talent gets a little bit diluted at the backend of lists.

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"I think decreasing list sizes could potentially make the feeder competitions a lot better, and then the guys who maybe needed another two or three years at a lower level come in and they're a lot better equipped for the rigours of AFL footy.

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"But besides the point of what's going on at the moment, there could be a little reduction in list sizes, for sure."

O'Meara also backed his playing peers to adjust to any extra physical demands from having a reduced squad.

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However, the 26-year-old midfielder said fewer players would not be appropriate in a scenario such as this season, where the AFL may need to fixture games every four to six days.

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"I'm sure we could adapt to it," O'Meara said.

"I think if we're going to go the way this season of potentially playing games every five days or whatever it might look like, it's probably not the right time to decrease list sizes at the moment.

"But it might be something to look at in future years."

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One option list bosses are lobbying for this year is a United States-style waiver system that would operate on reverse ladder order and enable player signings at any stage of the season.

AFL Players' Association boss Paul Marsh is wary about any change to list sizes, arguing a probable later finish this year and a shorter break into the 2021 season means clubs could need "more players, not less".

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"We've always said our job's not to maximise the number of contracts for players, it's to get the right number," Marsh recently said on Fox Footy.

"But at this point in time, we haven't seen any good arguments to suggest we need to cut list sizes.

"We'd need to see some compelling arguments to suggest we need less players but like everything at the moment, we've got to remain open-minded and we'll keep talking to the AFL."