The Ovens and Murray league has addressed concerns by clubs in regards to player welfare and will have an extra player on the bench from next season.
Clubs approached the league this season about adding another player and having 22-a-side.
They were of the opinion that there was an increase in injuries after the COVID layoff the previous year often led to finishing matches with no fit players on the bench.
The problem had been further emphasised by the concussion rule which prevents players from returning to the game.
League general manager Craig Millar said clubs were unanimously in favour of having an extended bench.
"We had a meeting with the clubs mid-year and spoke about the change in concussion management guidelines," Millar said.
"We also spoke on the desire of clubs to increase rotations for players on field from a welfare perspective.
"Several coaches had approached the league about the idea of a four-man bench.
"So the league made the necessary applications to AFL NEB and through that rigorous process with AFL Victoria we have been granted 22 players for next season."
ALSO IN SPORT
Clubs will also get extra points under the player points system and an increase in the salary cap to allow for an extra player.
Points will increase from 38 to 40 while $5000 has been added to the salary cap taking it to $125,000.
The Goulburn Valley league already has a four-man bench and $125,000 salary cap.
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