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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.

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

Regional NSW gets boost ahead of 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

A NSW Government funded talent identification and youth development program over the next three years will help young girls who aspire to play for the Matildas.

This morning, Deputy Premier John Barilaro launched the program in Albury and explained how an investment of $750,000 will ensure players from Regional NSW have the opportunity to showcase their skills, leading up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.

“Regional NSW is home to some of the most talented athletes in the country and has a rich history of producing Matildas with more than half of the National team coming from our State’s regions over the past forty years,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This investment from the NSW Government will ensure the next generation of girls and young women in regional NSW have the same level of access to coaching and support as their peers in the city as they strive to represent Australia on the world stage.”

It is designed for girls aged 12 to 18 years old, with funding to support the establishment of training hubs across the state and identifying talented young players will be further supported through the provision of training camps and player support scholarships – the added bonus is potentially being tutored by current and former Matildas.

Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said the NSW Government is committed to ensuring a lasting legacy from hosting FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 matches.

“We are witnessing an exciting new era in Australian women’s football and this investment will create successful pathways for aspiring girls in Regional NSW who dream of wearing the green and gold,” Mr Lee said.

“With current and former Matildas stars including Ellie Carpenter, Sally Shipard and Amy Chapman all growing up in regional NSW, this program will establish a pathway for aspiring Matildas in their local communities.”

Football NSW Chief Executive, Stuart Hodge, was there for today’s launch, as was 110 cap Matilda, Joey Peters hailing from Leeton in the Riverina, as well as football representatives including young talented players from the Albury-Wodonga Football Association.

Hodge believes the NSW Government’s investment has created a once in a generation opportunity for upcoming female athletes.

“Hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will inspire the next generation of Matildas and with the support of the NSW Government, together with Football Australia and Northern NSW Football, we are committed to providing the best training and development opportunities for our female athletes across regional NSW,” Mr Hodge said.

Chief Executive of Northern NSW Football, David Eland was also pleased with the announcement.

“The support provided by the NSW Government is invaluable and will assist NNSWF to provide the most talented female footballers in our region with access to programs, services, coaching and competitive opportunities required to fulfil their potential and aspirations to represent their Country.”

Former Matilda and Westfield W-League player Ashleigh Sykes, with 19 caps for the national team, who together with her twin sister Nicole grew up in Dubbo, enthusiastically supported today’s announcement.

“Growing up in Western NSW, sometimes it was easy to feel forgotten and isolated, like you’re not being seen as often as some of the city kids,” she said.

“I was lucky enough to benefit from people sticking together and supporting each other, from small group sessions to dedicated and loving coaches, to men’s teams providing a competitive training environment.

“For us, when the opportunity came up, moving to a city like Sydney or Canberra was a big decision at the age of 16 years.

“We made the choice to stay at home to finish school but then had to do lots of travelling to development camps. What this new program is offering will provide young girls aspiring to play for the country with enhanced opportunities which I think is fantastic and I am excited to be involved.”

Football Queensland’s Club Support Hub to assist Play Football campaign

Football Queensland has launched their new Club Support Hub, alongside the 2021 Play Football registration campaign.

“In the Strategic Plan, FQ committed to improving the support of our clubs and volunteers throughout the state,” Football Queensland CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“That is why we have developed the Club Support Hub, which provides a single destination for Queensland clubs to easily access marketing guides, retention and recruitment strategies, graphic design assistance, and promotional material for coach and referee courses.

“It builds on FQ’s other recent club support initiatives including the expanding Facilities Hub and the creation of the Club Development Unit.

“The launch of the Club Support Hub has been timed to coincide with the Play Football campaign as FQ leads a targeted digital strategy in Queensland, with localised messaging in each region and a central focus on the retention and recruitment of women and girls, and referees.

“By supporting and building capacity within clubs at the same time, we can align our efforts and ensure the football community is united in growing the game.

“The national ‘Join Our Team’ tagline supports this collective approach to showcasing football as we constantly work on providing participation opportunities for all Queenslanders regardless of age, gender, location or background.”

Players, coaches, referees and volunteers are able to sign up for the new season via Play Football’s national registration portal.

The Club Support Hub can be accessed here.

Socceroos and Matildas secure innovative fan engagement product

Socceroos and Matildas fans will be able to integrate Australia’s national football teams further into their daily lives, after the release of customisable homepage browser extensions for both sides.

Fan engagement company brandTurbo are the masterminds behind the product, with the Socceroos and Matildas becoming the first national football teams in the world to offer such a service.

The browsers are available now via Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, offering supporters the opportunity to access the latest team news, updates, highlights and features each time they decide to open a new browser.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson highlighted the importance of offering football fans innovative ways to further connect with the Socceroos and Matildas.

“Principle XI of the XI Principles for the future of Australian football highlights Football Australia’s intent to further enhance the strong reputations of our national teams and transform them into uniquely iconic brands,” Johnson said. “Discovering and implementing fresh and increasingly innovative digital solutions to engage supporters and keep them connected with our national teams is an important part of that process.”

“2021 is set to be a significant year of activity for both squads, as the Socceroos resume FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifying under Graham Arnold, and the Westfield Matildas commence an exciting era under Tony Gustavsson. By downloading and using the Socceroos and Westfield Matildas homepage extensions, fans can ensure that they don’t miss a moment of each team’s progress, while also having the capability to customise their backgrounds with an array of images that showcase why we love our teams so much.

“We are pleased that the Socceroos and Westfield Matildas will be the first national teams globally to feature on the brandTURBO service,” Johnson concluded.

Fans can download the official Socceroos browser extension here and the official Matildas browser extension here (both for Windows and Mac OS).

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