Standalone VFL clubs – also including Frankston, Northern Bullants and Werribee – will be eligible for travel and operations grants of up to $130,000 in 2021 as the VFL expands to take in six teams from New South Wales and Queensland.
AFL-aligned VFL clubs Sandringham (St Kilda), Box Hill Hawks (Hawthorn) and Casey Demons (Melbourne) will be eligible for grants of up to $65,000.
The $975,000 investment in the future of Australian football in Victoria was part of the Victorian Budget 2020/21 and provides grants to defray the costs of interstate travel and providing a COVIDSafe environment for players, officials and supporters.
The finances of VFL clubs were significantly impacted by the cancellation of the 2020 season due to the effects of the pandemic and the 2021 direct budget boost will be important as the clubs look to make their mark in the new 22-team competition, which kicks off on April 17.
The Strengthening Victoria's AFL Development Pathways Funding Programwill only be open to Victorian clubs not operated by an AFL team.
The new VFL competition has been designed to standardise the pathway to the AFL for players, coaches and administrators along the east coast. This structure will ensure Victoria’s talent pool will continue to grow, providing athletes with more opportunities to play at the highest level.
The competing clubs are Aspley (Qld), Coburg, Frankston, Northern Bullants, Port Melbourne, Southport (Qld), Werribee, Williamstown, Brisbane Lions (Qld), Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Footscray, Geelong Cats, Gold Coast Suns (Qld), GWS Giants (NSW), North Melbourne, Richmond, Sydney Swans (NSW), Sandringham, Box Hill Hawks and Casey Demons.