The Victorian and All-Stars squads for the AFL's bushfire relief exhibition match are starting to take shape, with the league handing clubs their wish list of players.
Eight players from each of the 18 clubs were requested by the AFL to be made available for selection - four for Victoria and four for the All-Stars - for the game to be played at Marvel Stadium on the evening of Friday, February 28.
Clubs will be required to identify which of their eight players will be fit and available, if selected, in the coming weeks.
With that information in hand, the coaching panels led by Damien Hardwick for Victoria and John Longmire for the All-Stars will select extended squads of 27 players to be announced on Tuesday, February 18.
Speaking at the launch of the match, AFLPA president Patrick Dangerfield said that he expected strong support for the game from his fellow players.
"Any opportunity to help those in need, I think our players have always been really good at putting their hands up," Dangerfield said.
"So I've got no doubt we'll have the best players in the competition playing in this game.
"... If we have players that are injured then they'll deal with it but we go in with our eyes well and truly open and understanding that it's for something far greater than ourselves."
The AFL expects there will be three players per club selected across the two extended playing lists, with final teams announced on Wednesday, February 26.
Each team will have a starting 18, six interchange players and three emergencies.
The league confirmed the charity match would go ahead last week, with the AFL, clubs and the AFLPA combining to get the ball rolling with a $2.5 million donation.
The fixture will be a double-header with the AFLW match between Collingwood and Melbourne, scheduled for the same day, moved from Victoria Park to Marvel Stadium.
The proceeds will be split between the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund and a Community Relief Fund set up the AFL to help rebuild football facilities destroyed by bushfires.
Australian Associated Press