PORTLAND will use an extra $15,000 in its salary cap to invest in players who can help guide the club to Hampden league finals in 2022.
The Tigers' application for additional room in the salary cap was granted with AFL Western District citing their "unique geographical circumstances".
They will have $119,500 to play with and will be expected to revert to the Hampden league-wide cap in 2023.
Portland also sought additional player points but was denied while it was given approval to enter an under 12 football team from next year.
Tigers president Troy Bannam said extra salary cap space - which was also approved before the COVID-19 ruined 2020 campaign - would prove helpful in recruiting and retaining players.
"We find it is very difficult where we are located, you have to get them past everywhere else," he said of the Tigers' base four hours from Melbourne.
"A lot of the time it is a relocation, so whether it's a relocation fee or a tank of fuel (funds help). Trying to recruit is very difficult."
Bannam said the Tigers' locally-raised contingent included some players who had moved away for university and would travel home to play.
The club, which made finals this year before lockdown restrictions forced the season into an early finish, has already signed Lochie Huppatz as a playing assistant coach.
Huppatz, who spent time in the VFL, returns after a stint with Geelong West Giants.
Bannam said the Tigers wanted to add more recruits to complement their emerging group which is thriving under non-playing coach Jarrod Holt.
The club is also investing in its juniors, bringing an under 12 side into the Hampden league competition.
It already has under 14 and under 16 sides while it has representatives in the Greater South West Junior Football League.
Bannam, who is preparing for his fifth year across two separate stints as president, said it would require work but was a worthwhile long-term investment.
"We had a lot of parents saying it was time for us to put it in (the Hampden league)," he said.
"When we first came in with the (other) junior (grades) it was pre-2020 and everything was coming together beautifully and everyone was keen as mustard.
"With COVID the past two years, it feels like we've taken five steps forward and six backwards. Trying to get people involved on committees is very difficult."
Portland joined the Hampden league in 2013 after crossing from the Western Border competition.
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