The West

Keep your AFL leftovers
'Keep your AFL leftovers'

West Coast and Fremantle will be told to keep their WAFL players next year if they maintain their bid to remove them from the State league for the first six weeks of the season.

And the nine WAFL clubs have also resolved to boycott any member who formed an alignment with the Eagles or Dockers.

The hardening of the WAFL line was confirmed at a meeting of club presidents this week when they agreed on a unanimous stand against any form of AFL expansion into the WAFL.

That stance is expected to be re- inforced at a meeting proposed by the WA Football Commission next month in an attempt to help the AFL and WAFL clubs resolve their differences.

But South Fremantle president Haydn Raitt said the AFL clubs would be told that the concept of having a reserves presence in the State league was dead.

And the failure to provide a credible financial model for any of various reserves models had eroded the WAFL clubs' confidence that West Coast and Fremantle were genuinely committed to the concept.

"The WAFL clubs are together on this. We are 100 per cent united," Raitt said. "This has been going back and forth for more than a year without any substance and it is time to say that it is over."

The club presidents used their monthly meeting to reject plans by the AFL clubs to either:

·Introduce two stand-alone AFL reserves teams to the WAFL.

·Play scratch matches during WAFL byes.

·Form a host-club arrangement.

·Allow AFL-listed players to play each other for the first six weeks next season.

"The clubs have said that if West Coast or Fremantle take their players out for the first six weeks next season they can have them for the year," Raitt said.

"They won't be coming back."

Raitt said the Eagles and Dockers were now considering alignments as the best means of preparing their full squads together, but that had been rejected by each of their potential WAFL partners.

"If someone wants to align with the Eagles or Dockers the other sides are not going to play them," Raitt said.

"That was how strong it was.

"The nine clubs are totally against the alignment.

"They stuff up your club and they stuff up your pathway because your young players can't play.

"The year South did it in 1999 we lost sponsorships, we lost members and it was a terrible year."

The WAFL club resolution came as the SANFL announced that reserves teams would not be part of renegotiated licences for Adelaide and Port Adelaide.

Both AFL clubs want reserves teams in the SANFL but chairman John Olsen this week rejected their bid.

"Reserves teams in the SANFL for the two AFL clubs is not negotiable," Olsen said.

"That will not be part of our discussions on the licences.

"We will not compromise the SANFL competition (with AFL reserves teams)."

Both West Coast and Fremantle said they were awaiting a formal response from the commission before responding.

The West Australian

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