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Football Victoria set to change NPL junior boys for 2020

Football Victoria, in a media release earlier this week, have announced that next year, the Junior Boys NPLVIC will be expanding.

12 new licenses were granted to sides as the competition will have 48 eligible teams.

It is a great move by FV, showcasing that the sport at the community level is just as important as the elite level.

With this expansion, the sport of soccer in Victoria will be allowed the grow as more aspiring juniors from more suburbs will have access to playing NPL for their local sides.

The media release can be found below in full:

Football Victoria (FV) has announced a major expansion of its Junior Boys National Premier League (JBNPL) competition for season 2020.

Following the most comprehensive review ever commissioned by FV, the revamped JBNPL will have up to 48 eligible teams next year after FV granted 12 new licenses today.

The 18-month review, which covered both the Men’s and Boys’ competitions, was completed by Sports Business Partners (SBP) in September 2018.

In line with the review’s recommendations, the FV Board agreed the 2020 JBNPL will now comprise four age levels – U13, U14, U15 and U16.

Subsequently, FV’s Board unanimously agreed on the recommendations made by the Assessment Panel to accept the following 12 new licenses (in alphabetical order below).

  1. Ashburton United SC
  2. Berwick City
  3. Caroline Springs George Cross
  4. Eltham Redbacks FC
  5. Essendon Royals SC
  6. Gippsland FC
  7. Glen Eira FC
  8. Malvern City FC
  9. Mornington SC
  10. Nunawading City FC
  11. Peninsula Strikers FC
  12. Ringwood City FC

In addition, all existing NPL and Hyundai A-League (HAL) clubs will be eligible for new licenses for the JBNPL 2020 competition.Both existing and new clubs must agree to the updated participation license in order to take part in the JBNPL 2020 competition.

FV President Kimon Taliadoros said the granting of new JBNPL licenses followed a competitive application process involving all interested community clubs.

“Football Victoria would like to thank and congratulate each of the 31 clubs for their submissions and interest in the JBNPL 2020 competition. FV was overwhelmed by the quality of the applications,” Mr Taliadoros said. “The unanimous selection of the successful 12 clubs by the Assessment Panel followed a stringent process in accordance with the published JBNPL criteria.”

As part of its commitment to improving junior development, FV will regularly review the NPL Junior Boys competition structure – including the provision to increase the number of clubs beyond 2020. FV will also continue to work with the unsuccessful applicants and any other community clubs who aspire to participate in Football Victoria’s NPL Boys Junior Development pathway competitions.

The Assessment Panel consisted of highly credentialed individuals with expertise across the various criteria.

FV has also confirmed that an additional position is available (to make up the 48 clubs for season 2020) as a result of Western United delaying their entry until the 2021 season.

As such, the Board has requested the Assessment Panel consider an additional license. FV will conduct a review in the next two weeks to confirm which club will be offered that license.

FV’s new JBNPL 2020 competition structure is designed to improve the level of competition whilst providing more opportunities to aspirational Victorian footballers. The competition will feature an 11-game qualification phase before teams are re-graded into leagues that best reflect their competitiveness.

Further details of the competition structure can be found at footballvictoria.com.au or by clicking here.

FV is well underway with the equivalent Women & Girls’ competition review with recommendations to be considered by the board in mid-August. The full report will be released to the football community once the recommendations have been approved.

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

Player sentiment up, average age down: PFA releases annual report

Sentiment is well and truly up for A-League players, according to the annual Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) report.

This time last year, only 33% of A-League players felt confident about the direction of their football careers.

According to the PFA’s latest annual report, that number is now 56%.

Of the A-League’s 312 players, 200 responded to the 2020/21 A-League survey, capturing 70% of the current cohort, with the results proving that even despite the ongoing turbulence and uncertainty of COVID-19, the majority of players feel much more confident about their futures within the game.

The report highlights that Australian players actively want to remain in the A-League, as opposed to seeking opportunities overseas.

The key numbers that demonstrate this include:

  • 55% of players said they would like to stay playing in the A-League next season, up from 45% last year.
  • 56% of players are confident about the direction of their football careers, compared to 33% in 2019/20.
  • Only 4% of players would move to an overseas league even if it was for similar money and/or playing standard.
  • Only 16% of players who would prefer to move to an overseas league would only do so if the money and standards were better.

Other highlights of the report include that the average A-League player is getting younger.

Over the last 14 years, the average age of the A-League player has consistently trended upwards.

In 2020/21, however, this changed and the average age trended downwards, dropping from 27.6 to 25.1.

The number of players utilised in the A-League who were aged 21 and under came in at 107, representing 35% of the 300 players who received A-League minutes during the 2020/21 season.

The youngest squads on average belonged to Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United, with average ages of 23.6 and 23.9 years respectively.

Another highlight was the fact that of the league’s 312 contracted players, 300 received A-League minutes.

“These reports have been immensely valuable, helping the PFA and the players better understand the industry in which they are employed, monitor the application of high-performance standards, assess technical progress and survey the players’ experience,” PFA Co-Chief Executive Beau Busch said of the report.

“For the last five years, we have been able to utilise these reports to formulate evidence-based positions to improve the environments in which our members work through collective bargaining.

“Promisingly, after a period of significant uncertainty, the players have indicated that they are more confident in the direction of their careers and the future of the competition than this time last year, signifying a positive shift in the perception of the A-League.”

The report also highlights the fact that A-League attendances were the lowest ever in the competition, thanks in large part to COVID-19, with an average attendance of 5,660.

Foreign players in the league reduced by 12 to a total of 51, whilst the average salary in the A-League is $136,791.

Access the full report HERE.

DFL and AWS introduce two new Match Facts to Bundesliga coverage

Bundesliga analysis

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced the addition of two new Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS that will premiere as graphics during broadcasts and in the official Bundesliga app during the 2021-2022 season.

The two new Match Facts – Shot Efficiency and Passing Profile – will bring the total number of advanced statistics to eight, with each of them aiming to give fans deeper insights into the action on the pitch.

The first of the new advanced stats – Shot Efficiency – compares the number of goals that a player or team has scored with how many goals the player or team should have scored based on the quality of their chances.

The second – Passing Profile – provides deeper insights into the pass quality of a player or an entire team. Both of the stats are generated by gathering and analysing the match feeds from live games in real time as they are streamed into AWS.

Both new stats made their debut during Matchday 4 on the clash between German Champion FC Bayern München and the second-placed team of the previous season RB Leipzig.

The two new Match Facts will better showcase the action on the field – giving fans, coaches, players, and commentators visual support for analysing the decision-making of players and teams.

Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President of Digital Innovations for DFL Group, was excited to further innovate the matchday experience for viewers based both domestically and internationally.

“Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS allows us to give fans more insight into the game of football, broadcasters more interesting stories to tell and coaches and teams, more data to excel at their game,” he said.

“Last year, the reception for Bundesliga Match Facts around the world was very positive, and we expect through ML and AI to continue to innovate on these analytics to make them even better.

“These two new stats give fans a view into player efficiency that hasn’t been achieved before, and we are just at the beginning of our relationship with AWS. I’m excited to see how technology will continue to evolve the fan experience and the game.”

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