FFV announces NPL structure for 2014

Football Federation Victoria have today announced their senior and junior structures for the 2014 National Premier Leagues competition.

Football Federation Victoria (FFV) today announces both the senior and junior structures for the 2014 National Premier Leagues.

The senior men and under 20 competitions will consist of NPL (14 teams) and NPL 1 (16 teams) subject to all 30 clubs/entities confirming their participation by returning a signed licence agreement to FFV by 5pm Wednesday, February 19.

NPL comprises: Ballarat Red Devils, Bentleigh Greens, Dandenong Thunder, Goulburn Valley Suns, Green Gully Cavaliers, Heidelberg United, Hume City, Melbourne Knights, Northcote City, Oakleigh Cannons, Pascoe Vale, Port Melbourne Sharks, South Melbourne and Werribee City.

NPL 1 comprises: Avondale Heights, Bendigo Amateur Soccer League, Box Hill United, Brunswick City, Dandenong City, Eastern Lions, FC Bulleen Lions, Kingston City, Moreland Zebras, North Geelong Warriors, Richmond, Springvale White Eagles, St Albans Saints, Sunshine George Cross, Surf Coast and Whittlesea Ranges.

The 2014 senior men and under 20 competitions (NPL and NPL 1) will commence on March 14-16 and conclude on September 14 and October 5 respectively. Teams in both NPL and NPL 1 will play each other twice on a home and away basis with no finals series.

In 2014, the Victorian NPL champion will be determined using the first past the post system and will represent Victoria in the national NPL finals. The first round of NPL national finals sees Victoria play Tasmania-s NPL champion.

NPL juniors will start the season on the weekend of April 6 and are scheduled to conclude on the weekend of September 23.

The junior structure will be split geographically into two conferences as follows:

• Bentleigh Greens, Box Hill United, Dandenong City, Dandenong Thunder, Eastern Lions, FC Bulleen Lions, Goulburn Valley Suns, Heidelberg United, Kingston City, Northcote City, Oakleigh Cannons, Port Melbourne Sharks, Richmond, South Melbourne and Springvale White Eagles. • Avondale Heights, Ballarat Red Devils, Bendigo Amateur Soccer League, Brunswick City, Green Gully Cavaliers, Hume City, Melbourne Knights, Moreland Zebras, North Geelong Warriors, Pascoe Vale, St Albans Saints, Sunshine George Cross, Surf Coast, Werribee City and Whittlesea Ranges.

Each team will play every other team within its conference once. Following the completion of 14 rounds, the top 8 teams will play each other once more and the bottom 7 teams will play each other once more to conclude the season. For the specific age group/conferences which include an NTC or Skillaroos team, the split within that conference will take place following the conclusion of 15 rounds and will include a bottom division of 8 teams.

FFV President Nick Monteleone said the NPL will have a positive impact on players, coaches and club development across all of Victoria and thanked the assessment panel for its hard work in reviewing all 37 applications.

“The structure should foster a dynamic contest throughout Victoria,” Mr Monteleone said.

“2014 is going to be an exciting year with the NPL in Victoria kicking off in the same year FFV celebrates 130 years of football and Australia plays in Brazil for the FIFA World Cup.”

Fixtures and confirmation about promotion and relegation frameworks for senior men will be released on Wednesday, February 26 and NPL Rules of Competition on Tuesday, March 4.

FFV Chief Executive Mitchell Murphy said the NPL begins an exciting new chapter in Victorian football.

“FFV looks forward to collaborating with the clubs along a journey of enhancing the standard of our great game by developing top quality players and coaches.

"Our timeframes for implementation are obviously tight and I am conscious many clubs are facing some logistical challenges.

"I applaud the football family for its support and encourage everyone to embrace the long-term benefits NPL will deliver for our game after this year of transition."

As announced last Friday, in addition to the 30 licences, FFV will offer a licence to Eastern Jets and Border FC to start in the 2015 season. A review of the competition structure and season timelines for future years will be conducted towards the end of this year-s season.

FFV has appointed Liam Bentley, its former Competitions Manager, as the Head of NPL Victoria.