MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 28: Ben Cavarra of Footscray talks in the huddle during the round 4 VFL match between Williamstown Seagulls and Footscray Bulldogs on April 28, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

Eight VFL teams are pushing for a return to action sometime this year - even if it is in a modified format.

Representatives from five standalone VFL clubs, as well as three aligned with AFL counterparts - the Box Hill Hawks, Sandringham Zebras and Casey Scorpions - will meet with the AFL this week to table a proposal for a state league restart, according to The Age.

The AFL is reportedly ready to engage with the proactive clubs, as all parties remain keen on the return of the league in a viable form.

AFL financial support is expected to be required for the competition to kick off, with the VFL standalone teams in particular vulnerable to the loss of crowds and revenue that this year threatens.

It's still unclear where the league's broadcaster, Channel 7, stands on a return and whether they would be in a position to televise games.

The five standalone clubs - Coburg, Werribee, Frankston, Williamstown and Port Melbourne - will not modify their initial 2020 lists if the league returns. However, the strict restart protocols that have banned AFL-listed players from participating in state league football this year mean the aligned VFL clubs may need to recruit heavily to fill their lists.

VFL clubs are concerned players might be poached by rival leagues like the SANFL if the competition fails to return. The SANFL is set to return after the South Australian state government pledged its support to the league.

On Saturday, AFL Victoria announced to all affiliated clubs that they could begin training in groups of 10, with full training and competition still a possibility later in the year if restrictions continue to be eased.

 

 

 

 

 

open to the league returning in some form and is expected to