Clubs ‘unhappy’ with changes
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 61-page 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 nine-a-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 under-12s 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 nine-a-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.”