The PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues NSW 2016 Season was launched by Football NSW at WatervieW in Bicentennial Park on Wednesday where media and representatives from the NPL community attended.
A cocktail function for 150 guests which included representatives from all Football NSW National Premier League Clubs, Sport NSW CEO, Cheryl Battaerd, Executive Director, Sport Infrastructure Group, Paul Doorn and Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia, Michael Ephraim, celebrated the fourth year of the National Premier Leagues in NSW.
The 2016 season will again see the National Premier Leagues benefit from the association with PlayStation 4 and in a new initiative will introduce the inaugural PS4 Player Pathway Award. This Award gives 24 aspiring footballers (aged 16-20) around the country a shot at a professional career. The aim of the award is to uncover some of Australia’s hidden football talent to become Hyundai A-League stars of tomorrow.
Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia, Michael Ephraim said, “The PS4 NPL is widely recognised as the engine room for the future of professional league football in Australia. By introducing the PS4 Player Pathway Award we are offering another opportunity for players who have missed selection through traditional routes to follow their dreams into the A-League.”
With the support of FFA, PlayStation Australia and FNSW, the Player Pathway Award seeks to celebrate the vibrant communities found in grassroots football. As official spokesperson for the award, Adam Peacock will front a new show called “The Ones to Watch” where he will follow some of our brightest PS4 NPL stars from all around Australia on their journey through the Player Pathway Award.
“I am really looking forward to following the PS4 NPL talent as part of the Ones to Watch series because football is about more than just a sport – it’s about the players’ stories, the communities, the determination and the passion for our beautiful game,” said Ephraim.
A special coaching panel were asked their thoughts of the upcoming season. The panel consisted of Mark Crittenden who led Blacktown City to last year’s 2015 Premiership and national NPL Championship, Brian ‘Bomber’ Brown, who claimed the 2015 Championship with Bonnyrigg White Eagles, former Matilda, W-League and Women’s NPL star Catherine Cannuli who is currently coaching the Women’s Southern Districts Football team in the State League Women’s competition , and up and coming PlayStation 4 NPL 2 NSW Men’s coach Steve Hurd who took the Northern Tigers to last season’s Grand Final and won it.
Football NSW Chief Executive Officer Eddie Moore stated that the event accomplished its intention in celebrating the launch of all PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues NSW competitions.
“I’m thrilled to be able to enjoy the start of the season with so many of those that champion this competition. The PS4 NPL in New South Wales is a very important part of the football landscape and player pathway in Australia, and in the room tonight are the heroes of our game that ensure it continues to be so.
“It’s important to stop and acknowledge the significance of our elite competitions and tonight has done just that. The fourth iteration of the NSW National Premier Leagues represents a strong competition that remains instrumental for the development of footballers in our state.
“It’s also been a phenomenal week for women’s football and the continual development of the game in that department has grown from strength to strength. The Matildas qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games has only further enhanced the profile of the sport and with a number of the girls having played for some of our NPL teams throughout their early stages of their careers, I am confident that there will be more that will be unearthed.
“I would like to wish all the clubs the best of luck and we look forward to seeing another NSW club being honoured as the National Premier League Champions following in the footsteps of Sydney United 58 FC (2013) and Blacktown City FC (2015).”
2016 will see the National Premier Leagues extended down to see the introduction of a PlayStation 4 NPL 3 NSW Men’s, and for Moore this represents the strength of the format.
“This will certainly be an exciting year for football in New South Wales. Having another level of the PlayStation 4 NPL in New South Wales is proof that the NPL is maturing year on year.”
The shows will be available on Football NSW’s social channels and also soon via www.playstation.com/ps4npl
The PlayStation 4 NPL NSW Men’s commences this Saturday evening as Blacktown Spartans entertain Parramatta FC at Blacktown Football Park while five matches will follow on Sunday.