The AFL today met with all 18 Clubs to provide an update on timelines relating to the Free Agency Period, the Trade Period, the NAB AFL Draft and other List Lodgement dates.

Clubs were also provided with an update on key football items including the Second-Tier Competition and Next Generation Academies. 

Key Player Movement Dates

October 30-November 6: AFL Free Agency Period
November 4-12: AFL Trade Period
November 20: List Lodgment #1
November 27: List Lodgment #2
November 30: AFL Draft Nominations close
w/c December 7: NAB AFL Draft and Rookie Draft (exact date to be confirmed in due course)
Mid-December: Final List Lodgment & TPP estimates 

Second-Tier Competition

The VFL & NEAFL will combine into one Second-Tier Competition that will sit alongside the SANFL and the WAFL in 2021.

AFL Clubs based in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria will be provided with flexibility to determine the form of their involvement in Second-Tier Football in 2021 with three options available to each of those Clubs:

  • Field a standalone team
  • Align with an existing Second-Tier Club
  • Spread their AFL-listed players across multiple Second-Tier Clubs.

The AFL today confirmed there will be no license fee payable by AFL Clubs to participate in the 2021 VFL & East Coast Competition and that it will continue to work with standalone VFL and NEAFL Clubs on their potential involvement in the competition. The AFL will continue to work with AFL Clubs participating in the SANFL and WAFL and those competitions ahead of their respective 2021 seasons. 

Next Generation Academies

The Next Generation Academies (NGAs) – targeting Indigenous and multicultural players – will be implemented by the AFL Talent Pathway Team with support from AFL Clubs.

The Northern Club Academies (Sydney Swans, GWS GIANTS, Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast SUNS) will remain the responsibility of the AFL Clubs with support to be provided by the AFL.

The AFL advised Clubs today that there would be no change to the eligibility or concessions available to AFL Clubs for NGA approved players at the 2020 NAB AFL Draft.

As a reminder to media, a player selected in Round One can be matched with a discount of 20 per cent on a bid, with a fixed discount of 197 points for a player selected in later rounds. 


There will be no training for AFL players before Monday, November 30 at the earliest. A date for pre-season training to be allowed to commence ahead of the 2021 season will be advised in due course.