NPL CHANGES WILL AF­FECT PLAY­ERS

Eastern Reporter - - Opinion -

CHANCES for Na­tional Premier Leagues WA (NPLWA) clubs to stay and play in the top divi­sion have di­min­ished and it will tar­nish smaller clubs’ dreams of play­ing amongst the elite. While it has been only three years since the com­pe­ti­tion was formed, clubs have been sub­ject to sev­eral changes since semi-pro­fes­sional soc­cer was in­tro­duced in WA in 1896, in­clud­ing the forced re­moval of eth­nic­i­ties from club names. But the de­crease from 14 to 12 teams in the NPL will make it harder for clubs to move up the ranks. This is not a con­cern for big­ger, suc­cess­ful clubs such as three­time NPL cham­pi­ons Bayswater City Soc­cer Club and 2016 cham­pi­ons Perth Soc­cer Club, but it surely is for those that fea­ture in the reg­u­la­tion and pro­mo­tion zones. The change will also af­fect the de­vel­op­ment of up-and-com­ing play­ers who may not get the chance to play against the com­pe­ti­tion’s best. De­spite club costs which will be re­duced from the drop in matches in a reg­u­lar sea­son, more com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween Foot­ball West and NPL clubs is needed to en­sure the im­pact is evenly spread amongst all clubs. Kristie Lim Re­porter

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