West Coast Eagles to field team in WAFL in 2019

The Eagles will make next year's WAFL season a 10-team competition. Picture: Paul Kane
The Eagles will make next year's WAFL season a 10-team competition. Picture: Paul Kane

IT’S official. The West Coast Eagles will field a reserves team in the WA Football League next season.

The presidents of the nine WAFL clubs tonight unanimously endorsed the move, a $90,000 entry fee and an $800,000 Eagles annual investment.

WA Football Commission chief executive Gavin Taylor said the Eagles’ entry would support the development of their AFL-listed players and provide a better financial return to WAFL clubs.

“This decision represents a significant milestone in the history of the WAFL, with the WAFL clubs embracing the opportunities this will create for the clubs and competition,” he said in a statement.

“Having a competitive West Coast Eagles team in a quality State league is equally as important for the development of AFL-listed players as it is for the financial sustainability of our WAFL clubs.

“This significant investment by West Coast demonstrates the value of the WAFL competition for developing talented players and will only further strengthen its status as Australia’s premier State league competition.

“We are very conscious of balancing the needs of all parties to maintain the integrity of the WAFL competition while also supporting the success of our AFL clubs.

“An important component to the West Coast Eagles’ licence will be their list build, recruiting and player payment conditions, which will be further developed by a joint working party by the end of October.”

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Taylor said there would be a review of conditions associated with the West Coast licence by the end of next season.

“Having a WAFL competition that can accommodate West Coast’s stand-alone team, continue to support the successful Fremantle and Peel partnership, whilst protecting the integrity and history of our WAFL competition presents an exciting opportunity for our game here in WA,” he said.

“I would like to acknowledge the WAFL Council of Presidents, WAFL club CEOs and West Coast Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett for the good will shown and their commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for all parties.”

FUNDING ARRANGEMENT

-West Coast will pay a $90,000 WAFL sign-on fee, with the money shared among the nine WAFL clubs.

-Eagles $800,000 annual investment will include:

• Continuing the current $467,000 alignment fee.
• An additional $45,000 to be shared among nine WAFL clubs.
• $230,000 to East Perth Football Club to reinstate funding equal to other non-partner clubs.
• $54,000 in competition costs associated with an additional fixture: umpiring, vision, statistics and match-day staff.