Bathurst Giants will put in as much time and effort to make sure the club meets requirements for a new two-tired senior men's structure for the 2020 AFL Central West season.
The AFL Central West will aim to be back to two men's tiers in 2020, but may potentially only have 16 players a side in the top tier and as few as 12 in a second tier, both potentially with shortened games.
Bathurst Giants coach Mark Kennedy said there are challenges ahead for the club, but said the Giants will try as hard as the club can to meet the new requirements.
"We'll put in as much time and effort into meeting the requirements of the strategic plans that AFL Central West have developed in conjunction with AFL NSW/ACT," he said.
"There are challenges around it and, to be honest, if we want to improve the level of football in the Central West, we want to give our new players a full experience of what AFL football is like and AFL football includes 18 players on the paddock and four on the bench.
"It's going to hit us pretty hard but we're going to try our best to meet the requirements of what the strategic plan is."
The Giants finished the 2019 AFL Central West competition with a defeat in the preliminary final to Orange Tigers, a day when the Bathurst-based side was short of numbers.
"They want us to put in two men's teams in next year and I suppose for us, it's going to be a challenge because when we played Orange in the major semi-final, we couldn't even field a full team for that," Kennedy said.
"Moving to a new competition to try and find additional players to fill two teams is going to be a challenge.
"We're kind of hamstrung by what juniors we can play, because they have to be at a certain age to be eligible.
"If they're a bit too young, we've got to go through a process by being approved by Central West AFL. We've already had juniors playing up in a senior competition last season."
Kennedy said the Giants have already maintained a strong viability in the past when competing with other major sporting codes including rugby league, rugby union and hockey, as well as competing with another football team in town.
And while Kennedy remains positive that the Giants will do what they can to meet new requirements under the proposed two-tier system for 2020, he wants AFL Central West to have a fallback position.
"It's not just us that has to put a second team in, but Orange and Dubbo as well. It's going to be a challenging time ahead, because there's a short time frame," he said.
"What we do hope is that AFL Central West have a fallback position."
March 1 will be the date the AFL Central West reviews registration numbers and if the number of registered players meets 80 per cent of the bodies required for another tier the league will forge ahead with the changes.
Field modifications may be made to accommodate lower numbers in the two tier structure.