Media Release

SANFL statement: AFL COVID Contingency Top Up Players

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

After being part of the consultation phase in developing an AFL Top Up Players COVID contingency plan, SANFL is supportive of the model released by the AFL today.

SANFL General Manager Football Matt Duldig today said:

“SANFL has worked closely with the AFL, Adelaide and Port Adelaide football clubs and SANFL Clubs to find the best solution to these potential challenges we continue to face at all levels of football with the pandemic.

“Importantly, we believe the model ensures the strength and integrity of our competition will be protected should the need arise for AFL COVID Contingency Top Up Players to be activated.

“The COVID pandemic continues to present challenges for football, however, ultimately, the regulations of this model ensure continuity of our Hostplus SANFL League in season 2022 and minimise the impact on SANFL team lists.

“We would like to acknowledge AFL General Manager Football Brad Scott for working collaboratively with both SANFL and the AFL clubs in the development of the guidelines under this model.

 “Pleasingly, we have been able to minimise any potential impact on our competition by being involved in the consultation process.”

Key points of the AFL COVID Contingency Top Up Players model are:

  • AFL Clubs can register up to 20 additional players to make up their ‘Top Up COVID Contingency Pool’, with a maximum of four players from each NGA aligned* SANFL Club
  • Clubs may only select an activated player if there is less than 28 AFL listed players available, and it is not reasonable in the circumstances to play an AFL Listed player.
  • The number of ‘COVID Contingency Players’ a club activates must not exceed the number of ‘Protocol Players’ (those positive to COVID-19 or a close contact) that the Club has at any point in time.
  • If not selected for AFL, the SANFL player will always play for their SANFL Club.
  • SANFL Clubs with be financially compensated for each SANFL match a player misses, or if a long-term injury is sustained, under these guidelines.

*Central District, Glenelg, North Adelaide and Sturt are aligned to Adelaide Football Club under an existing Next Generation Academy (NGA) program. Norwood, South Adelaide, West Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens aligned to Port Adelaide Football Club.

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