Change Not Always For the Better

April 30, 2013 at 8:09 am 6 comments

Football West has very wisely opted to sit back and watch how the National Premier League structure of the game is implemented in other states around the country, before committing to it 100 percent. This is a very wise move and one that should be applauded, as they will have the benefit of seeing how things pan out in the other leagues and adapting to prevent the same problems arising in Western Australia.

However they are still pushing ahead with making the state league clubs comply with the requirements to be a part of the National Premier League. Which will benefit the game whether they proceed or not.

Clubs in Western Australia however would be wise to cast an eye across the country before accepting such a reform to the State League competition. The current league may not be fantastic and has stagnated in recent years, but it does have history and has managed to survive upheaval in the past. Sometimes it is better the devil you know.

Queensland’s National Premier League is a good example to keep an eye on. In the current league there are only three sides who were in the Hyundai Queensland Premier League of 2012 in the same incarnation.

New sides are in the league this year and according to many already the league has become a three horse race, after just seven rounds. One person involved in Queensland football scene who requested to remain anonymous told “Not The Footy Show” ‘it’s a complete farce and we are only seven games in. With any luck they will scrap it next year and go back to how it was.’ Players from the established clubs stayed with their old clubs and opted to play with them in a lower division, and the sides elected into the top league are simply not strong enough. CQFC have conceded 42 goals in their seven games! Western Pride have conceded 20, while FNQFC have conceded 22.

The model has been to place clubs who meet the criteria on peripheral issues and not the football played on the park in the National Premier League. This has given the state body the chance to put clubs in key development areas. This has a great deal of merit, but in sport you should always have to earn the right to play at the highest level, it should not be given to you because you have clean toilets, spacious changing rooms and a decent car park.

Clubs in Western Australia would also be wise to remember why the National Premier League model, is trying to be rushed through by the FFA. The powers that be promised the AFC when they joined that they would have a second tier competition below the A-League and that there would be promotion and relegation. The deadline for that promise has passed, and the AFC want to know what is being done.

Even if this model does get approved in the West, will we see an NPL club promoted to the A-League, should they win the proposed Champion’s play offs? Could many State League clubs afford to make such a leap? How would an A-League license holder feel to see his club no longer playing in the top league?

Rest assured clubs will again have to meet a new criteria to be promoted, and that will be the protection clause for the current A-League clubs. The one good thing is no club could be precluded because of their ground, as after all no A-League club with the exception of the Newcastle Jets, owns the ground that they play at.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. All White  |  April 30, 2013 at 10:42 am

    If the state league clubs in WA sign up for this only a few clubs will survive. The League will be made up of strategically based teams as you say. ECU, Sorrento, Mandurah, Bunbury, Rockingham, Cockburn, Armadale, Ashfield, Perth, Inglewood, Stirling, Floreat – even if they go down – and Bayswater.

    However one of these will have to give way to the NTC. Mind you how they can be in the league when they don’t meet any of the criteria shows that the rules are made up to suit.

    It is a daft idea. It will be detrimental to the Glory to in terms of feeding local players into the side. As the league will take 3-5 years to bed down. Can Glory wait another 3 years to be competitive?

  • 2. notthefootyshow  |  May 2, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Thanks All White as usual for your thoughts. There are some that say there will only be three on the city teams in the new league, which would mean one of the better venues left unused. This is only speculation, but that would seem foolish.

    With the NTC it is interesting to note that in Queensland the QAS are bottom of that league. This has to be because the ages were lowered. So it is not a unique problem to WA.

  • 3. Brett  |  May 3, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Rumour is Ellenbrook United (D5, Sunday comp) will be one of those applying for the NPL. They are in a ‘growth area’, have a big junior setup and the Govt are considering building a small stadium in the area.

  • 4. struth  |  May 3, 2013 at 11:25 am

    overall a pretty poor conceived plan for our game – and Not one mention of how many EXTRA supporters it hopes to attract – Just Spend Spend Spend and play to empty terraces .

  • 5. EXZR  |  May 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    IMO, FW are not united enough to make these decisions. They need to get the Standing committees and zone reps sorted first…and working correctly so that the united body is making decisions and not just one or two people … and certainly not FFA alone. I understand that each state has probably been included with all corro etc, but if some of the states are not truly representing their members, then its not real.
    Juniors and Seniors, grass roots and elite all have a stake.

  • 6. Not The Footy Show  |  May 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Thank you for the last three comments. Ellenbrook have done a great job out there I met the guys last year, and their enthusiasm and support of the game is outstanding. Good luck to them. I do think though that places in top leagues should come down to performance on the park.

    EXZR – Valid point. These decisions need to be made by all in the game, as todays juniors are the state league players of tomorrow. What impact will it have on the juniors.

    Having read Han Berger’s presentation that all National Youth League teams MUST be in the NPL that opens another can of worms. Clubs are expected to develop young talent only to see them poached by the Glory or Brisbane National Youth League side for minimum compensation. This system cannot be allowed as it stands, as it will kill the local clubs.


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