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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

After a recent survey and discussions between the AFLPA and players, a "Players and the Game Committee" will be formed to allow players a greater voice on the game and its future. The committee will consist of eight players - one from each state and four from Melbourne based clubs - who have strong and respected voices within the AFL industry and well-developed views on the game.

According AFLPA General Manager Ian Prendergast, this will also allow current players more of an input on the Laws of The Game Committee which will allow for more representative views. Prendergast said the formation of the new group was timely with "increased focus ... on laws of the game and the competition structure this year, particularly around the cap on rotations, the substitute rule and the second bye, together with the ... negotiations for the next broadcaster rights deal."

Current AFL Players’ representative on the AFL Laws of the Game Committee, Jack Trengove, says it’s vital that the players, as key stakeholders, not only have a strong voice, but are heard in terms of the direction of the game. “Forming a diverse and united group provides us with great insight into the current conditions, whilst also helping to formulate educated recommendations on the future of the game,” Trengove said. Richmond's Jack Riewoldt said it was important for anyone who loved the game to have a say on the game's direction. “Administrators, fans and players are the driving forces ... all need to be heard on the important issues". Geelong's Steve Johnson says he thinks about the game a lot and is passionate about "making it the best possible spectacle for fans" and said he was excited to be involved with the new committee and with "a quality group of players".

The nominated players for the committee are: Gary Ablett (GC), Tom Rockliff (BRIS), Luke Parker (SYD), Heath Shaw (GWS), Jack Riewoldt (RICH), Nathan Jones (MELB), Brendon Goddard (ESS), Chris Judd (CARL), Drew Petrie (NM), Sam Mitchell (HAW), Will Minson (WB), Scott Pendlebury (COL), Jarryn Geary (StK), Steve Johnson (GEEL), Rory Sloane (ADE), Kane Cornes (PA), Scott Selwood (WCE) and Nat Fyfe (FRE).

While eight players will make up the committee, all the nominated players will be part of the "Players and the Game Working Group" and will receive any information provided to the Committee, be invited to attend meetings when others can’t and to provide their views and those of their teammates. While the specific purpose of the Committee won't be decided until their first meeting, its primary aims will be to provide players with a stronger collective voice on issues relating to how the game is played and the structure of the competition, what players consider the ideal AFL game and competition structure to be, to undertake in-depth research and analysis of the matters being considered and to develop proactive positions and recommendations on behalf of all players.

Source: Vanessa Gigliotti, AFLPA Media Release

Article last changed on Monday, May 28, 2018 - 5:36 PM EDT

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