Tough new salary caps, points caps for local AFL teams
THE Lismore Swans are adjusting to a new salary and points capping system after being promoted to Division 2 of the local Aussie rules competition.
Senior men's coach Joey Mitchell said the club was stoked to be involved with the new-look competition, which will see the Swans join the Queensland Football Association Division 2 South League.
The Swans formerly played in the AFL South-East Queensland Division 4 with Ballina, Byron Bay and Tweed.
But this year all teams will join the newly-formed Division 2 competition and play against several Gold Coast teams ‒ Bond University, Burleigh, Carrara, Coolangatta and Robina ‒ and two Brisbane teams and Division 1 aspirants, Kenmore and Victoria Point.
Mitchell said the team was planning how to work within the changes, which include the maximum amount of points for each player reduced from seven to six.
Teams will also have an overall points cap per game of 45 instead of 51.
Mitchell said a new season with more teams and more intense competition will see the Swans step up a level.
"We are now playing for sheep stations," he said.
"Every player is rated at a certain number of points and as a team we are limited to 45 points per game.
"It also means after being in a four-side competition we will be playing against a lot more teams, which is helping us attract more cross-code players from league and soccer.
"And the salary and points restrictions ensure a level playing field."
Mitchell said the caps were brought in to manage clubs so they don't stack their sides with former AFL players and dominate the competition.
"In dollar terms our salary cap is at $20,000 for the season," he said.
"I was talking to a former coach of mine in the Victorian Bendigo AFL District competition the other day and he said their salary cap is around $150,000 per season."
Mitchell said it is critical for all teams to remain above board.
"We are above board and we can't afford to run any shonky or shady systems," he said.
"Clubs need to play the system fair with the cards they are dealt.
"If you can't beat other teams with the players, points and money you have, then you shouldn't be even in the game."
How the points system works
6 points (AFL player): Played at least one AFL game in any of the current or previous three seasons.
5 points (State League Tier 1): Player who has played a minimum of five senior games of VFL, WAFL, NEAFL or SANFL in any of the current or previous three seasons.
4 points (premium competition): Player who has played a minimum of five senior games in the current or previous three seasons, in any premium competition in Australia.
3 points (senior community player): Played the same or more senior than reserves games in total over the current or previous three seasons in QFA Division 1 or AFL Cairns or any interstate senior competition. Note: Player must have played at least five matches in total.
2 points (community player): Played more reserves than senior games in total over the current or previous three seasons at community football level or has played in competitions that do not meet the senior community player criteria.
2 points (youth and eligible rising star player): Player recruited who is under 20 prior to January 1 of the competition year.
Additional 2 points: If transferring from another club and will be competing against their former club.
Additional 1 point: For any player registered with three or more community clubs in the current or previous two seasons.
Promotion reduction 1 point: For any player who is recruited to a club who is playing in a higher division from where the player has been recruited from.
Note: This rule only applies to players who have played their football solely in Queensland and/or the Northern Rivers competitions.