Football West News
In order to select two groups of equal standing, Football West created a ‘Championship’ table by aggregating points gained in the U12, U13, U14, U15 and U16 NPLWA competitions in 2015.
The clubs were ranked on their points total and then sorted into two groups of six, according to odd and even placings.
In the absence of a similar table for the eight new Junior NPL clubs, all were considered of equal standing and were ranked based on geographic location from furthest north to southern most club.
They were then split into two groups of four, again using odd and even placings.
Football West has acted as objectively as possible to create two groups that have been selected with the aim of providing players with equally competitive environments. The structure does not favour any club based on preconceptions of playing standards.
Football West considered and rejected other concepts such as random draws, alphabetic grouping and north/south alignment in favour of a more objective determination.
Group A: Perth SC; Perth Glory; Subiaco; Armadale; Cockburn City; Floreat Athena; Quinns FC; Ellenbrook; Fremantle City; Mandurah City.
Group B: ECU Joondalup; Balcatta; Sorrento; Inglewood United; Bayswater City; Stirling Lions; Joondalup City; Melville City; Rockingham City; South West Phoenix.
Teams will play all other teams in their group in home and away fixtures before the Junior Finals, in which the top four teams in each age group will play against the top teams in the other group (eg. first versus fourth, and second against third) at the quarter-finals stage.
Winners will progress to semi-finals and grand finals.
Football West will also investigate the possibility of additional crossover group matches to be played by all teams not involved in top-four junior finals.
For example, the fifth-place teams in each group will play against each other, as will the sixth, seventh, etc, assuming this model is in place.
Football West will seek a recommendation from the NPL Standing Committee on this matter.
All Junior NPL clubs will be involved in Junior Cup knockout competitions, as in previous years.
Fixtures for the home-and-away season will be confirmed in coming weeks.
The Junior NPL has been expanded from 12 clubs to expose more players to the competition’s benefits, including requirements for players to be coached by accredited personnel. The new clubs are Quinns, Joondalup City, Ellenbrook, Melville City, Fremantle City, Rockingham City, Mandurah City, South West Phoenix.
The Football West Board recently resolved to admit the 20th team – Joondalup City - and to split the division into two groups after a recommendation by the NPL Standing Committee.
Acceptance of the eight new clubs is subject to their ability to meet specific criteria by February 29.
The 12 clubs that have competed in previous Junior NPL seasons are also required to meet criteria, including the ability to field a team in each junior age group by round one of the 2016 season.