Wangaratta Rovers' VFL player Charlie Thompson is hoping his move to Coburg won't rob him of the chance to play O and M.
Thompson played nine games with his second club Rovers last year after he was starved of opportunities with primary outfit Richmond, particularly in the second half of the season.
The 21-year-old midfielder or forward has since joined the standalone Lions, where he's expected to play more senior football, given he won't be competing against AFL players coming back from injury or chasing stronger form.
"There's a bit of uncertainty around Richmond's VFL program next year and it's a really good opportunity at Coburg to hopefully play some consistent VFL footy," he said.
Due to COVID-19 and its financial fallout, the VFL has changed next year, merging with the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL).
It means there will be 22 teams across three States with a mixture of AFL reserves, AFL-aligned clubs and standalone outfits.
"Obviously the aim is to play VFL every week, but I think the VFL is scheduled to start late April and I'm hearing the O and M might start late March, so there's potentially a four-week window where we could get some games in," he suggested.
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Obviously the aim is to play VFL every week, but I think the VFL is scheduled to start late April and I'm hearing the O and M might start late March, so there's potentially a four-week window where we could get some games in. I also think the VFL season is only a 16-week season as well.Charlie Thompson
"I also think the VFL season is only a 16-week season as well, so potentially if the byes align correctly, there might be a handful of Rovers' VFL players who can play each week and rotate through, which gives us a leg-up with the player points as well."
Thompson featured in Rovers' best in four of the nine games last season, with his skill and fierce competitiveness a welcome addition to the Hawks in what's tipped to be a tight competition.