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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Football operations boss Mark Evans said the AFL was determined to make sure people who might not have been raised with a traditional football background or access to the traditional AFL pathways feel welcome to play the game, "We will use the expertise, resources and brand power of clubs out in regional communities to help find ... and develop young talent ... all cultures, all backgrounds ... clubs can attract and develop some talent ... and ... have the ability to receive some incentive ... similar to the bidding system used for the northern academies."

Evans said clubs intending to have a team in the new national women's competition should ensure girls are part of the academy programs. The clubs were consulted in the past year and accepted the allocation in general terms. "The allocation of regions has been based on a range of factors - aligning to existing under-18 talent regions, minimizing player travel and access issues, aligning AFL clubs to current or historical relationships with certain communities and balanced access to 5-18 year-olds from diverse backgrounds."

The AFL will meet with South Australian and West Australian clubs regarding allocation of regions in those states and is finalizing regions for Tasmania.

Victorian club regions:
Western Bulldogs: Western Melbourne, Wimmera, Mallee, South West Victoria, Ballarat, (North Ballarat Rebels & Western Jets)
Essendon: North West Melbourne (Calder Cannons), West Arnhem (NT)
Melbourne: South East Melbourne (Dandenong Stingrays), Alice Springs (NT)
Collingwood: Central Melbourne (Oakleigh Chargers), Barkly (NT)
St Kilda: Inner Southern Melbourne (Sandringham Dragons), Frankston LGA
North Melbourne: Melbourne and Wyndham LGAs (Calder Cannons & Western Jets)
Hawthorn: Eastern/Whitehorse LGAs (Eastern Ranges), Gippsland (Gippsland Power), Katherine (NT)
Carlton: Northern Melbourne (Northern Knights)
Geelong: Geelong /Hampden (Geelong Falcons), East Arnhem (NT)
Richmond: Goulburn Murray, Bendigo, Sunraysia, North Central (Bendigo Pioneers and Murray Bushrangers)

Source: David O’Neill, AFL Media Release

Article last changed on Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 3:39 PM EST

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