PLANS are afoot for a marquee player allowance to be introduced into the Riverina and Farrer Leagues next season as part of an overhaul of the Player Points System (PPS).
While the PPS plays an important role in the equalisation of competitions, it does restrict club's ability to attract a top class player without it having a major bearing on the quality they can fit under the points and salary cap.
But AFL NSW-ACT's community football manager, for regional NSW and ACT, Marc Geppert, said under the system clubs will be given allowances to lure a 'name' player to their ranks.
"One of the ideas we've got to encourage clubs to still be able to attract that high end talent is a marquee player allowance," he said.
"A club could nominate an ex AFL or state league player and receive a reduction in both player points and salary cap on that player.
"But there's some criteria on who that player can be, it can't just be a player from another local league they recruit they nominate as a marquee player, they must have played at that higher standard.
"We're encouraging clubs to attract those players without being penalised from a player points perspective."
The PPS will also be tweaked in an attempt to deter clubs from poaching players in other leagues in the region.
A Farrer League club who recruits a player from a Riverina League team for instance, or vice versa, will be slugged an extra point next year.
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"The points policy is currently with the AFL Riverina and Hume League boards. It's not official until they ratify the changes, but basically across NSW and ACT we have revised the player points policy," Geppert said.
"Previously what we had was basically Hume League, Riverina, Canberra and Farrer were operating under a different system to the rest of NSW and ACT, and we've made it consistent across all leagues now.
"The introduction of a premier player point basically gives you that clear difference between a player from a high standard of competition, to one in a low standard competition.
"One of the biggest criticisms around the area is Riverina teams poach the Farrer clubs, and Farrer poach Riverina.
"It addresses that situation as well. If you're going to recruit from within your own region, they're going to be worth an extra point."
Canberra has become a popular avenue for Riverina and Farrer League clubs to recruit from over the past couple of years, and the change could make that slightly more difficult.
Geppert also praised Riverina and Farrer League clubs for their management of the PPS and salary cap when they met for a delegates meeting at Narrandera earlier this month.
"Most of the clubs were around the 31-32 (points) average (maximum allowed 36) across the Farrer and Riverina," he said.
"It's a good indication clubs are being responsible in their recruiting, but also shows there's juniors and players committing to clubs for a long period of time.
"The average salary cap for both leagues was about the $60,000 mark (maximum allowed $80,000). That's encouraging.
"If clubs are being responsible for their player payments that's all we ask."
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