Photo: Steve Remy

The AFL has today announced an update to the 2021 VFL Premiership Season.

As a result of the evolving COVID-19 situation across the country, previous interruptions to scheduled games and an extension to the Victorian State Government lockdown, the 2021 VFL home-and-away season has finished. The league has confirmed the match ratio system has determined the final ladder positions ahead of the 2021 VFL Finals Series starting on Saturday September 4, 2021.

The finals will retain the top eight clubs but in an elimination format should they be able to start on the weekend of September 4. The AFL has put a contingency in place should there be any further delays.

The match ratio system will see North Melbourne end the season in 15th, finishing with four wins and six losses from its 10 games this season.

After a difficult start to they year, North turned a corner in Round 6, defeating Essendon by 15 points, going on to win four of its last five games of the season.

AFL Head of Talent Pathways and State League Competitions Tristan Salter said the VFL community continues to navigate its way through a challenging year for sport and although the conclusion to the season looks different, it was the only system to reward a Premier.

“The 2021 season has been a challenge to everyone connected to football. The AFL is very proud of how all VFL clubs, players, officials, supporters and corporate partners managed through a difficult year and kept their communities connected,” Salter said.

“All 22 clubs continue to play a vital role in keeping their suburban and regional networks engaged. We acknowledge the importance they have played as pillars of their local communities and remain so important to growing and nurturing our national code.”

“We’ve seen 107 exceptional games of football this season with the engagement in the VFL in 2021 highlighting how important football is to so many people across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The VFL maintains a strong presence in the football landscape and the role it plays in the growth of our game should never be underestimated.”

“We have witnessed a very even competition so far and the compilation of the top eight presents an exciting Finals Series ahead. We will continue to make changes that best manage the current environment, progresses our season and protects the health and safety of those in our game and the wider community,” Salter said.

While COVID-19 continues to impact the community, the health and welfare of our players and the community remains the priority and all matches will operate in a safe manner anchored in the advice of respective governments, public health officials and medical experts. Strict protocols will be in place to protect players, officials, staff and the wider public at all matches when they return.