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Southern coach calls for player loyalty ahead of salary cap cuts

How big an impact reduced match payments will have on local footy remains unclear but it’s a big talking point around the traps, with one Southern league coach urging players to put the jumper ahead of the dollar.

Paul Amy, Moorabbin Glen Eira Leader Subscriber only | July 10, 2020 11:00am

Bentleigh club Peter Pirera is looking for loyalty from players ahead of salary cap cuts.

Put the jumper ahead of the dollar.

That’s the message to Southern league players from Bentleigh coach Peter Pirera ahead of reduced salary caps in 2021.

Like all metropolitan leagues, the SFNL first division will have a payments ceiling of $100,000 next year, down from what would have been $150,000 this year. Division 2 will be $80,000, Division 3 $60,000 and Division 4 $40,000.

Pirera said some Southern clubs would have to make adjustments to fit under the cap next year.

He said they could “only hope’’ players would accept the situation and be prepared to play for less money.

“We all want to lock our players in, especially the clubs with good lists, and we’re one of those … and I think it’s going to come back to the players,’’ Pirera said.

“It’s going to have an impact but none of us knows how serious the impact will be.

“It’s not just Bentleigh footy club, it’s the Eastern league, the Essendon District league, all of the leagues, and it’s going to come back to club loyalty and how much these guys want to play for the club that’s looked after them for God knows how many years. You can only hope they understand that.’’

Peter Pirera calling the shots.

He urged Southern clubs to “stick together’’ and “not start bidding wars’’.

“It would be great if there was some unwritten law between us and not go fighting each other for players over money,’’ Pirera said.

He said he would like to see players blocked from transferring clubs for 12 months, except if they were joining a country league.

Pirera believes country clubs will target the metropolitan leagues “and we’re not going to be able to compete with them’’.

The coach raised the issue in a letter to Bentleigh members this week, saying the reduced salary cap would present challenges.

Former VAFA star Nick Wynne has joined Bentleigh.

He said the Demons had an abundance of good young players coming through and were well equipped to deal with the cuts.

“This brings me to the issue of club loyalty. I do not say this specifically on behalf of our club, but on behalf of all the local metropolitan clubs. I am very interested to see which players will support their clubs during the tough times and which players will ‘chase the bucks’, so to speak. No doubt we will find out in due course!’’

Meanwhile, former Old Xaverians star Nick Wynne has joined the Demons.

Aside from being a decorated VAFA player, Wynne played good football with Richmond in the VFL.

He lives locally.

“He wants to play some footy with his brother (Tom), who has had injuries and hasn’t been able to get on the park,’’ Pirera said.

“He trained, got itchy feet and became pretty keen. The way he trains, his ball use, his skills … great player.’’

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