Football NSW today confirmed that changes to its Men’s and Boys’ competition structures would be implemented from the 2020 season.
Importantly, Football NSW moved to reassure those participating in competitions currently administered by Football NSW at the Skill Acquisition Phase (SAP) age levels, that those competitions will continue in 2019 and that from 2020, appropriate development opportunities at that age level will continue to be available to bridge between Association and NPL football.
A Working Group comprised of representatives from Associations, NPL Clubs, the Coaches and Technical Advisory Panel, FFA and Football NSW will be formed to make recommendations on the ideal structure and delivery model for SAP-age level development from 2020.
In supporting the formation of the Working Group, Football NSW aim to determine the most effective and appropriate structure and means of delivering the crucial Skill Acquisition Phase (9-12 years) of the FFA National Curriculum.
Football NSW reaffirmed its position that it is essential that all players in the SAP-age group across the Football NSW membership have the ability to develop according to the SAP principles.
Football NSW also confirmed that a set of criteria would be developed to place clubs into tiers of youth football from 2020. A Working Group will be established to make recommendations on the criteria to be applied.
Over the past four weeks, the Board of Football NSW welcomed a number of key constituent groups that made further representations proposing alternative solutions to the structure and implementation.
While opinions differed on the range of issues, there was common ground on the need to constantly assess, and where necessary fine-tune, the environment in which our talented young players participate in development programs so as to ensure that it remains in line with best practice and is as accessible as possible.
In determining the structure of competitions, the Board developed and evaluated a variety of models based on a set of objectives that included:
- Increase brand value of competitions, media and fan interest
- Improve commercial value of competitions and participating clubs
- Establish club culture, especially towards first grade/senior
- Have clear and consistent competition structures
- Enable clubs to plan long-term
- Involve Associations and Branches in the development pathway
- Reallocate registration fees from FNSW to Associations
- Reduce pressure of facilities use
- Re-establish an objective method of assessing youth development
- Reduce pressure on assignment of referees to matches
- Introduce transparency in club licensing assessment
- Reduce costs of participation for clubs
- Focus on club improvement over regulatory compliance
- Reduce cost of participation for families, especially at SAP (Skills Acquisition Phase) age-level
- Improve club’s financial governance & transparency
- Reduce time pressures of travel of parents, especially at SAP age-level
- Ensure all NPL clubs fully committed to football development
- Increase and expand number of clubs delivering SAP principles (beyond NPL)
- Improve competitive-balance through fairer fixture scheduling
- Relax coaching & compliance requirements to deliver SAP
- Develop better players, coaches & referees
- Reduce administration & compliance burden on clubs
- Develop stronger clubs
Football NSW would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all relevant Standing Committees, Associations and clubs for the constructive and positive manner in which they have represented themselves and looks forward to continuing to work with all constituents in progressing these important issues.