Capital Football can today announce the teams invited to participate in the National Premier Leagues Capital Football for Women and Girls (NPLW), for Men in Divisions 1 and 2 (NPL1 and NPL2 respectively) and for youth boys (NPLY).
The restructured Men’s and Boy’s leagues, and 3rd season of the NPLW, represent the culmination of significant work through various competition and youth development pathway reviews.
Capital Football CEO Phil Brown praised those involved in furthering the development of football in the region.
“We thank everyone for their contribution and continued efforts to ensure the pathways and opportunities provided, for participation and development, are enjoyable and lay the foundation to support aspiring players in reaching their potential.”
The third season of the NPLW competition will see it expand to nine teams with the Wagga City Wanderers joining the league.
“It is a wonderful achievement from everyone involved in women’s and girls’ football to see the renewed NPLW enter its third season bigger and better than ever,” Brown said.
“Registrations across the league have remained steady at 580 players, with some clubs taking leaps forward in the appointment of qualified coaches and extending the volume of training for their players.
“They have set the bar for other clubs to emulate.”
The eight clubs who participated in the NPLW in 2018 will all be back for 2019 and will be joined by the Wagga City Wanderers who will add a different region to the mix of the league.
The Wanderers’ Gary Lyons expressed the club’s excitement to be involved in the competition and offer a pathway for the region’s female footballers.
“It is a really exciting time for the club to be involved in the league, and it is a great opportunity for our players.”
“Normally our girls are limited to playing in mixed teams until they are old enough to be in the women’s competition, so this will be very valuable to them.
The top-flight men’s competitions will be separated into the NPL1 & NPL2 competitions, with promotion and relegation to be phased in by the 2021 season.
Brown said the promotion/relegation system would give all clubs in the leagues an opportunity to participate at the highest level.
“The introduction of promotion and relegation will allow aspiring clubs to pursue their ambitions of competing in top flight football in the ACT.”
“It will only serve to increase the quality and competitiveness of our leagues in the years to come.”
ANU Football Club President Pat Holloway said the club was looking forward to being a part of the National Premier Leagues once more and that the new structure was the right way to go.
“We are really excited to be re-entering the Premier League in the ACT,” Holloway said.
“ANU has been out of the Premier League since the end of 2010 and have done very well in Community Leagues, so now there is an opportunity here to enter the National Premier Leagues structure where we feel we can be competitive, and it will be to the betterment of football in Canberra and will improve the quality.”
The prospect of promotion in the years ahead is also one that appeals to the club.
“We have players who are capable at that level and we want to see how successful we can be,” Holloway said
“This year we took Canberra FC to extra time in the Federation Cup, and they went on to win it, so we know we can match it.”
“And if the lure of NPL1 can be on the table through promotion then that will push us even harder.”
The 2019 Boy’s NPL Youth will see an expansion from nine to 12 teams, welcoming Woden Valley, Brindabella Blues and Canberra Grammar School to the competition.
Brown welcomed the teams into the competition and said that the expanded competition allowed more opportunities for members of the football community across the board.
“These three teams have long and successful histories in our ActewAGL Junior League competition,” Brown said.
“As the youth competitions gradually expand we will aspire to offer more opportunities for players, look to positively influence the standard of the competition and work with aligned clubs to improve their coaching structures.”
Woden Valley Soccer Club President Danny Calder said it was an exciting time for the club to be joining the National Premier League structure.
“At Woden Valley SC we are proud to announce that our application for a National Premier League Youth licence for the 2019 season has been accepted by Capital Football,” Calder said.
“This will allow Woden Valley juniors to strive to reach their potential whilst staying with the club they started with, where previously they would have had to leave WVSC to play in the National Premier League competition.
“It is an excellent outcome for both our players and the club.
The Declaration of Leagues for the NPLW, NPL1, NPL2, and NPLY can be found on the Circulars and Memos page.