FOOTBALLERS not selected for their AFL side this year could instead compete in scratch matches against players in the same position at other clubs.

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The AFL is understood to be contemplating alternative playing arrangements after telling clubs on Tuesday that no AFL footballers will be permitted to play in second-tier competitions in 2020.

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That decision is based upon the part-time nature of those competitions not enabling AFL-listed players to adhere to the strict medical protocols that will be in place this season.

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It's believed the AFL is also in regular dialogue with all state leagues across the country on the scenarios relating to them playing this year.

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The move to consider scratch matches for overlooked AFL footballers means they will potentially be able to push their case for senior selection beyond just training.

It will help ease the fears of fringe players, particularly those out of contract, who could have been faced with the possibility of playing no football in 2020.

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However, there are complications with this set-up, given the length of injury lists and number of available players can be drastically different from club to club.

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That could lead to condensed games, less players on each team, or possibly even a situation where footballers on rival clubs might play alongside one another if necessary.

Any such matches would be held in a controlled environment, in line with AFL and government guidelines.