Youth Club Championship Update

With Football NSW restructuring the Youth Football landscape yet again ahead of the 2020 season by de coupling Youth and Senior sections of the club and thus the introduction of a Youth Club Championship we thought it would be good to take a look at how things stand at the moment in Youth NPL1 and Youth NPL2.

No prizes for anyone who said that the Western Sydney Wanderers would be top of the Youth Club Championship. The Red & Black Academy continues to perform and they are well and truly ahead with a commanding 24 point lead over the high performing Sutherland Sharks who occupy second spot, Sydney FC round out the top 3, they have surged up the table having played all of their catch-up fixtures from the start of the season when they were in the Netherlands.

It will come as no surprise to many that the rest of top half of the Youth Club Championship are all NPL1 Senior Mens clubs, Marconi Stallions, Sydney Olympic, Blacktown City, APIA, Manly United, Mt Druitt Rangers.

Propping up the table is Rydalmere Lions, their NPL2 senior program are only 20 points above the relegation zone in the senior program so we may yet see The Lions back down in NPL2 Youth for 2020. St George FC are doing well sitting 13th but with their senior program languishing 20 points behind Rydalmere Lions and safety in NPL2 their Youth League may yet start 2020 in NPL2 Youth, joining them will be Macarthur Rams who sit second last in Youth and Senior and Bankstown Berries who need a huge change of fortune if their senior program is to make up 59 club championship points.

As it stands all eyes remain affixed to the bottom of NPL2 Men’s and top of NPL3 Men’s Senior Club Championships to determine which 3 sides senior programs drop from NPL2 and thus their Youth drop to NPL2 Youth and which 1 senior side is promoted from NPL3 and Youth Promoted into NPL1 ahead of the 2020 season. As it stands bottom clubs fighting relegation in PL2 are Bonnyrigg, Rydalmere, St George FC, Macarthur Rams and Canterbury Bankstown Berries. The clubs fighting for promotion in NPL3 are SD Raiders, Gladesville Ryde Magic and Bankstown City.

Now onto the NPL2 Youth Club Championship where things are much tighter at the top end of the table where just over 1 full round of wins of 12 points (3 points x 4 teams) separates 1st placed Dulwich Hill and 2nd placed fallen giant Parramatta FC. Looking at the chasing pack just beyond Parramatta only a further 14 points separates The Eagles and 7th placed Dunbar Rovers. Spaced in between are all the clubs you would expect Sydney Uni, Fraser Park. Gladesville Ryde Magic and Nepean. Promotion favourites in the senior NPL3 program SD Raiders find themselves languishing down in 11th place which is by far the lowest placed youth program to get promoted if you take the last 3 years of promoted clubs positions into account. 2016 Hills Brumbies won promotion, their Youth League finished 4th in the NPL2 YCC. 2017 Rydalmere Lions won promotion their Youth League finished 3rd in the NPL2 YCC. 2018 St George City FA won promotion they finished 1st in the NPL2 YCC that year.

Down the bottom half of the table Western NSW Mariners will draw many eyes firstly due to not entering an U16s team in the competition this year which is extremely unfortunate for the growth of football in the region which FNSW and Co seem so insistent on. We will let you be the judge if their 13s and 14s are really impressive combining for 66 points and thus sitting 5th last in the YCC. The 4 clubs below them have an extra grade contributing points throughout the 17 rounds of fixtures so far and still sit below them. It will be interesting to see how these clubs shape their YL programs in 2020 to try and attract players which from a pure results perspective, new players are much needed.

What are your thoughts on the Youth Football scene? There will be a lot of changes for 2020, a fair few will argue not enough changes to truly differentiate the various ability levels of players to avoid 8-0 score lines in representative football but it is a small step in the right direction.

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