The 2021 rebel VFL Women’s is set to kick off in February, in line with the NAB AFL Women’s Competition and NAB League Girls.

AFL Victoria announced the alignment of the competitions on Wednesday in a bid to integrate talent pathways and to provide increased opportunities for elite developing talent.

North Melbourne will field a team in the VFLW competition under a similar 12-game format to previous seasons, along with Carlton, Casey Demons, Collingwood, Darebin Falcons, Essendon, Geelong, Hawthorn, Southern Saints, Western Bulldogs, Williamstown and Port Melbourne, with the latter replacing Richmond.

North AFLW coach Darren Crocker said it was an exciting development for the game.

“As a club, we’re really looking forward to the season ahead,” Crocker said.

“If bringing these competitions in line means more opportunity for our developing talent, then it’s a step in the right direction.

“As we’ve seen through the draft the talent pool continues to strengthen so providing these opportunities is an exciting prospect for the future of our game.”

The NAB Under-19 carnival will likely be held at the conclusion of the NAB League Girls season in April.

In the states bid to strengthen the game, NAB League coaches will be full-time positions across both the boys and girls program to ensure equal opportunities.