A “Retained Players List” was introduced to the AFL New Zealand Premiership as an additional tool to create balance and competitiveness within the competition.
With study, work, injury and location alterations playing a role in player availability from season to season, it is important that each team is afforded the opportunity to retain players from the previous seasons list from each of the established draft categories.
Once the “Retained Players List” has been finalised by the Premiership teams, the remaining players will be re-entered into the national draft and will be available for selection by any of the four teams. This ensures an even spread of all draft categories across the four team rosters and equalises player availability that can be restricted due to location.
In addition to the Retained players list, each head coach will be able to sign one ‘Wildcard’ player to join their list for 2021.
The 2021 AFL New Zealand Premiership will contain the following categories within the Retained Player list.
- RPL Category 1: Retention of Auckland based players. (Up to 6 players retained)
- RPL Category 2: Retention of Christchurch and Wellington based players. (Up to 3 players to be retained)
- RPL Category 3: Retention of Regionally based players.. (Up to 2 players to be retained).