Port Adelaide Power have reportedly lodged a written submission to have their reserves side join the VFL competition and leave the SANFL after a storied 155-year history with the league.
The move reaffirms continued efforts to establish a nationwide second-tier competition including all 18 AFL clubs.
Port Adelaide, Adelaide, Fremantle and West Coast are the only remaining AFL clubs yet to move their reserves to the VFL after Sydney, GWS, Brisbane and Gold Coast made the move in 2021.
As revealed by News Corp, Port Adelaide's request follows a meeting of league officials across the competition which addressed issues of draft equity, academy & father/son picks and competitive balance in the AFL and VFL.
Led by footy boss Laura Kane, the AFL will look into changes to the system in time for the 2024 National Draft, following controversy over Gold Coast's access to four academy picks in the first round and North Melbourne's questionable compensation for outgoing defender Ben McKay.
As part of the growing efforts toward competition equity, Port Adelaide's request attempts to eliminate any disadvantage with the development of players through the reserves system, allying with the national expansion of the VFL competition.
Standalone clubs Werribee, Williamstown, Port Melbourne, Frankston, Coburg and the Northern Bullants face increasingly uncertain futures as more AFL-affiliated reserve sides enter the fold.
Talks of weighting the VFL fixture to limit excessively lopsided matches between top and bottom sides read ominously for these standalone clubs, especially given the inevitable inclusion of Adelaide, Fremantle and West Coast to the league.
For Port Adelaide, founded in the SANFL in 1870, the move will officially end a 155-year stretch with the competition, culminating in a record 36 premierships and 74 top-two finishes for the Magpies.