North Melbourne will retain its VFL and VFLW programs in 2021.

The VFL will form part of the new look VFL/East Coast competition, while the VFLW will be part of the existing VFLW competition.

North GM football Brady Rawlings said it came down to the clubs plan for future success.

“It’s been a very tough year for everyone, which includes our football community,” Rawlings told North Media.

“We were facing some very tough decisions due to the financial impacts of COVID-19 but we’re extremely pleased to be retaining our VFL and VFLW programs.

“We’ve made it very clear about our strategic direction for on-field success and having a second-tier competition ensures we can continue to develop our talent and build continuity.

“We’re pleased we can field both teams next year under the guidance of our coaching group.”