THE AFL remains fiercely committed to staging the rebel VFLW Grand Final and crowning a premier as soon as possible despite lockdown once again putting the competition on hold.

Undefeated reigning premier Collingwood and challenger Geelong will get the opportunity to battle for the VFLW title, and the AFL is working closely with both clubs to make it happen as soon as football is allowed to resume.

The Magpies have not played since defeating Essendon in the second semi-final 27 days ago, a break that will stretch to at least 36 days, while the Cats have run out just once in that time – last Sunday’s preliminary final win over the Bombers.

VFL FIXTURE RESCHEDULE Three abandoned Queensland matches replaced

Playing an uncompromised VFL top eight finals series also remains a priority after the fifth State government COVID-19 lockdown to affect the men's competition (including those in NSW and Queensland), a series locked in for August 28 to Grand Final day on Sunday, September 19, at Marvel Stadium.

Football is unable to be played at State league level beyond the AFL Grand Final date of September 25 due to the involvement of AFL-listed players affecting eight of the 12 clubs still in contention (and four of the top five).

The AFL is determined to get the 22 teams to the same number of games in the home-and-away season, which means that will now be reduced to 11.

Victorian VFL captains at the 2021 season launch. Picture: AFL Photos

"The integrity of the finals and awarding a 2021 premier is our priority and we continue to explore all available options to achieve it," AFL Head of Talent Pathways and State League Competitions Tristan Salter said this week.

"While the fixture continues to be a week-to-week proposition, we will continue to make changes that best navigate the current environment and to keep the competition going for all players, coaches and fans.

"But the No.1 priority remains to protect the health and safety of those in our game and the wider community."

VFL MATCHES COMPLETED (TARGET: 11)

11 – *Frankston, *GWS
10 – Aspley, *Box Hill Hawks, Brisbane Lions, Coburg, Essendon, *Footscray, Gold Coast, North Melbourne, Northern Bullants, Richmond, *Southport, Sydney
9 – *Carlton, *Casey Demons, *Collingwood, *Geelong, Port Melbourne, *Sandringham, *Werribee, *Williamstown

*Mathematically still in finals contention

Twitter: @BRhodesVFL

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