Clubs don’t like changes

Stirling Times - - SPORT -

A NA­TIONAL Premier Leagues WA (NPLWA) club pres­i­dent says clubs are “not happy” with an in­de­pen­dent review and rec­om­men­da­tions for the com­pe­ti­tion, which in­cludes a re­duc­tion in teams from 14 to 12 in 2019.

Teams in­clud­ing Perth Soc­cer Club, Bayswa­ter City, Stir­ling Lions, Bal­catta Foot­ball Club, In­gle­wood United and Floreat Foot­ball Club will be af­fected.

Foot­ball West re­leased the 61page NPLWA Review Re­port last month, which in­cluded hav­ing 12 teams in the NPLWA and State League di­vi­sions 1 and 2. Other changes in­clude a mod­i­fied ninea-side un­der-12s com­pe­ti­tion and a review of women’s soc­cer.

The re­port was pre­pared in con­sul­ta­tion with Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion Aus­tralia (FFA), NPLWA mem­bers, State League, am­a­teur and women’s stand­ing com­mit­tees.

Perth SC pres­i­dent Gary Maroc­chi said all club pres­i­dents would meet to de­cide how to get the Foot­ball West board to con­sider views of clubs that make a fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion to the game.

Maroc­chi said the drop in matches played from 26 to 22 would help re­duce club costs.

But he added clubs were dis­ap­pointed in the move for un­der12s to play nine-a-side on a smaller pitch from the 2018 sea­son.

“Most clubs have in place coaches for NPLWA un­der-12s in 2018 and have ad­ver­tised tri­als to be held in Oc­to­ber,” he said.

“Mak­ing a de­ci­sion in mid-Septem­ber 2017 to cull the un­der-12 NPLWA league and re­vert to ninea-side games is not con­sid­ered to be a wise plan­ning de­ci­sion by Foot­ball West.”

Maroc­chi said clubs needed to im­prove fa­cil­i­ties for women.

Foot­ball West chair­man Liam Twig­ger said the re­port’s rec­om­men­da­tions would be phased in over the com­ing sea­sons to fa­cil­i­tate devel­op­ment of play­ers.

“Re­tain­ing the cur­rent struc­ture al­lows Foot­ball West to pro­vide clubs with suf­fi­cient no­tice ahead of the rel­e­ga­tion of mul­ti­ple clubs at the end of the 2018 sea­son,” he said. “Re­duc­ing the num­ber of play­ers in each team at un­der-12 level in­creases the amount of time each player has on the ball, in­creas­ing en­joy­ment of the game and im­pact­ing pos­i­tively on player devel­op­ment.”

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