Mens and Boys Competition Resturcture

Wow what a day it’s been in NSW for football.

The FFA Cup preliminary rounds draw was broadcast and published today and if it weren’t for this important news, we’d be bringing you our thoughts on the matches right now.

But anyway let’s just jump into it. Full document can be found here.

FNSW has confirmed a lot of what was already known, but we’ll talk about it anyway

Four divisions of 12 clubs NPL 1 – 4

So first up it’s confirmed that there will be 48 teams with State League rebranded as NPL 4. Great stuff that we’ve been calling for, except with less teams than we would have liked.

5 team championship series

What was expected, all tiers now fall in line with NPL 1 in regards to finals. No more 6 and 4 team finals play offs.


This one has thrown us quite a bit. First/last place will get automatically promoted/relegated, that much we knew.

The interesting thing is that now the 2nd last team (11th) will in a pro/rel play off against a club from the division below with the format of that yet to be determined.

Our best guess would either be the champions/runners up if a club does the double or 2nd place on the premiership table. Most likely the latter.

We really like this change, and have previously advocated for a 2 up/down or 1.5 up/down model moving forward.

Also, Club Championship is being scrapped with only the 1st grade table positioning being taken into account. This means that whilst 20s and 18s will still be part of seniors, their results won’t be able to save a club or get them promoted.

This change means more focus is placed on first grade, we will see less of clubs dropping players to 20s and save points in games they know they will lose in 1st grade and will hopefully bring some interest back from the fans.

Seniors and Youth Required

This we sort of knew and makes a lot of sense. The requirement now is that all clubs must run a seniors (1st, 20s and 18s) and youth (13-16s) program.

The clubs currently not in compliance are: Gazy, Condors, Hurstville City, Hurtsville ZFC, UNSW, Prospect United (Blacktown AYL), CCU (AYL) and South Coast Flame (South Coast AYL).

This gives us an immediate idea of who is on the chopping block and what scenarios are likely to happen, more on that in a separate piece.

NPL 4 requirements

Not a lot to touch on here, but this is the criteria for any club that finds themselves in State League at years end or relegated from NPL 3.

10th-14th from NPL 3 and 2nd-11th from State League and Southern Branch FC. Applications received from an A-League Club will also be considered.

Entry into NPL 4 (12 clubs) will be assessed based on (i) performance; (ii) comparative likely contribution in the future to a high-quality elite or semi-professional competition at both youth and men’s levels (iii) Geographical Density of NPL club sand other criteria to be confirmed

So unpacking all of this it seems as though Southern Branch is likely to be getting a seniors program which would leave 4 clubs again to be cut. Who will be cut is a long process for us to run through all the critera so we will save that for another day.


So this is the big one that has a lot of people talking.

2020 youth sides will be based on the senior clubs positions i.e. NPL 1 and 2 will make up NPL 1 youth, NPL 3 and 4 will be NPL 2 youth. From 2021 seniors and youth will be decoupled with their own pro/rel.

Phase one – clubs play each other in seeded groups using snake method. Seedings will be based on Youth CC from 2016-2018, 2021 seedings will be reset based on the previous season.

The top 6 clubs from each group in NPL 1 will combine for phase 2, same as the bottom 6 clubs and will play 11 matches plus a finals series. This will be the same in NPL 2.

After each season, the bottom 2 clubs from tier 1.2 (the lower 12 teams from tier 1) based on Club Championship will be relegated and the top 2 from tier 2.1 will be promoted.

13s will be excluded from Club Championship with points calculated evenly for 14s, 15s and 16s


Sap at this stage will be staying in FNSW hands for the 2020 season. More on this to come.

Overall we are quite excited about these changes and think overall they are very positive.

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