ECU Joondalup to take part in NPL

ECU Joondalup to take part in NPL

Posted on August 27, 2013 in 'News'

History will be made next season when 12 clubs, including ECU Joondalup, aiming to represent the State on the national stage will compete in WA’s new National Premier Leagues competition.

Football West today gave provisional approval for NPL inclusion next season to ECU, Perth Glory, Armadale, Balcatta, Bayswater City, Cockburn City, Floreat Athena, Inglewood United, Perth SC, Sorrento, Stirling Lions and Subiaco.

Joondalup secretary David Gent is delighted with the decision, and all the hard work of the committee has been rewarded. “The announcement today from Football West on ECU Joondalup’s inclusion in the WA-NPL is a great result for the club, as arguably one of the most successful clubs in Australia for developing junior football talent into professional players,” said Gent.

“The whole concept of the NPL in promoting young players from within a club is the very essence of our club philosophy, evident by our current first team with many of our ex junior players proving that goal. Whilst we still want to give as many players who have the ability an opportunity to progress to the dizzy heights of the Premier Leagues in Europe, we also recognise the great opportunity that an improved quality of football closer to home in the NPL and ultimately the A League providing a real alternative for players locally.”

“As a committee we are pleased that the hard work on and off the pitch has been recognised and although that work has only just now started, we have a great team that are more than able to meet the additional administrative requirements within the NPL.”

“Thanks to all the committee and the NPL team for the work that they all put into our submission, we are now looking forward to next season and the many changes we have in mind to enhance the match day experience to encourage even more support from the Northern suburbs of Perth to get behind their NPL Club.”

WA’s inaugural NPL first team winner will play-off against top clubs from other States in a knock-out format to determine the Australian NPL champion club.

Glory’s inclusion represents an exciting opportunity for the game to strengthen ties with the Hyundai A-League club at the same time as increasing local football’s profile.

Football Federation Australia recommends all A-League clubs enter teams in their respective NPL competitions to enhance the development structure for their elite youth players.

Of the 11 other clubs, only Subiaco currently plays outside the current All Flags State Premier League. In an exciting initiative, the Division Two club has committed to playing its home games at one of Perth’s newest sporting facilities, the WA Athletics Stadium.

Football West Chairman Liam Twigger congratulated all clubs for the high standard of bids and encouraged unsuccessful applicants to continue towards the plans outlined in their submissions.

“The Board learnt the two things most apparent from the submissions and presentations were the level of professionalism shown in developing high-quality applications and presentations, and the extent to which the club committees and members have embraced the NPL and much of what it aims to deliver,” Mr Twigger said.

The strength of club applications for NPL WA has prompted Football West to consider bringing forward to 2015 expansion plans initially scheduled for 2016.

NPL WA will replace the All Flags State Premier League as the state’s top-tier competition with a State League First and Second Division to continue to operate below. NPL clubs will be required to appoint a technical director and enter teams in each age group from under-12 to under 16, and under-18, under-20 and senior first team.

A club’s inclusion in the 2014 NPL competition is subject to the signing of a Participation Agreement.

The NPL is a Football Federation Australia-driven initiative, which has been implemented to assist in creating a more consistent national structure for the country’s various State League competitions. It is intended to raise the standard of the game nationwide through structural reform, increased coaching standards and better community engagement.

This year, NPL competitions were started in Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania and South Australia.