West Coast are set to press for a tightening of service agreements with WAFL clubs, raising the possibility that listed players could be shifted to a new club if they were being denied a senior game.
Chief executive Trevor Nisbett confirmed that his club wanted talks on the agreement, but stressed that improving the rules was a "two-way" issue and that the move was not related to the push from West Coast and Fremantle to have reserves teams in the WAFL.
"We know that we will be operating under the same system in 2012 so we just have to tighten that system up a bit," he said.
Under existing rules a player can, by negotiation between the WAFL club and his AFL club, be moved if he is being denied senior opportunity.
That has happened in recent seasons to Fremantle squad members Casey Sibosado (Claremont to Perth) and Ben Bucovaz (Claremont to East Fremantle), but West Coast squad members Anton Hamp, Jeremy McGovern and Lewis Broome (who was de-listed at the end of the season) struggled for opportunities in the strong Tigers senior line-up this year.
WAFL clubs had traditionally been more reluctant to part company with players developed through their junior zone.
"We need to be more prescriptive about where the guy plays and who he plays with," Nisbett said. "I have no doubt that will be looked at over the pre-season.
"It is not just a one-way thing either. We have spoken to a number of WAFL clubs who have told us that the communication coming to them over player availability certainly needs to be better as well.
"Our relationship with WAFL clubs has generally been pretty good but you do need your players playing senior football so you can have another look at them.
"With young Jeremy McGovern and Anton Hamp at Claremont for example, our expectation would be that they be given the opportunity to play regular senior footy and we would certainly talk to Claremont about that."
Both AFL clubs remain hopeful they will get their own reserves teams by 2013, but WAFL clubs remain opposed to full participation. The only reserves team proposal to get any support to date would see WAFL clubs face the AFL reserves teams during their bye.
West Australian Football Commission chief executive Wayne Bradshaw said he had heard that West Coast wanted some changes.
"If they want to talk to us we are always open to review on what the agreements are," he said. "There are often negotiations on how things might be handled better."Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich said he wasn't aware of the Eagles proposal but stressed both AFL clubs had to work constantly to make sure that the development systems for their players were as good as they could be and most other clubs had either reserves team or host club arrangements.
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