How Could A-League Expansion Impact NSW NPL?

The hot topics in Football at the moment include; A-League Finals, World Cup 2018, A-League Expansion and the restructuring of the NSW NPL.

This opinion piece focuses on the last two issues combined and raises the important question that we have seen one person raise; What will happen to the NPL with the incoming A-League expansion?

Let us give you this scenario. Let’s say Southern Expansion does get awarded a licence, what will happen when they try to field an academy team in the NPL?

Every A-League team (including Wellington!) has an academy team in their respective NPL competitions (and the NZ Championship). NSW of course already has SFC in NPL 1 and CCM and WSW in NPL 2. Newcastle Jets play in the NNSW competition.

With the planned restructuring of the competition; 4 divisions of 12, what would happen if Southern Expansion straight away want to field their youth team.

Firstly, another club would have to be axed from the competition. And with all the clubs currently on notice to meet the criteria by next season (adding in youth where needed, securing suitable home grounds, etc), it is hard to imagine any of them going through the trouble just to risk playing park football the year after.

The reason we believe a club would get knocked back instead of adding teams to the competition, is that it is hard to see FNSW wanting to re-restructure and expand a division back to 14 teams.

Perhaps down the line we will see 4 divisions of 14 teams, but not whilst the NPL 1 teams have their way. After all, we here at The Clean Sheet would love to see more teams playing the the NPL, as long as they’re viable.

So let’s offer an alternative instead.

The best possible outcome for the competitions is to have the Wollongong Wolves join the A-League. They already have a team in the NPL and a great youth set-up.

This way, no more teams will have to leave the NPL, and everyone’s happy.

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