Football Federation Australia (FFA) today released a new revamped format for the Foxtel National Youth League with the publication of the 2015/16 draw, following an extensive review of the elite player pathway and the Foxtel National Youth League competition structure with competing clubs and member federations.
The new Foxtel National Youth League competition format balances the footballing objectives of the competition whilst supporting each Hyundai A-League Club’s PS4 NPL calendar and providing youth players competitive matches up to 40 weeks each year (excluding participation in other fixtures such as the Hyundai A-League, Westfield FFA Cup, Foxtel National Youth League Grand Final and Friendly matches).
The first of the major changes sees the ten clubs divided into two conferences; Conference A (Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar FC, Melbourne City FC, Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory) and Conference B (Central Coast Mariners, FFA Centre of Excellence, Newcastle Jets, Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers FC). Within each conference, the teams will play each other twice over 10 rounds (4 home / 4 away – 8 matches and 2 byes per team).
The Foxtel National Youth League will commence on the weekend of 7/8 November 2015, with the top team from each conference to meet in the Foxtel National Youth League 2016 Grand Final on the weekend of the 23/24 January 2016.
FFA’s Head of Hyundai A-League, Damien de Bohun, was excited to release the new competition format and draw for the Foxtel National Youth League after years of development.
“The move to change the format of the Foxtel National Youth League competition began in 2013 when FFA reviewed the competition structure which was finalised in July 2014. As part of this review, FFA obtained feedback from various stakeholders including Hyundai A-League Clubs, Member Federations and FFA’s National Performance and Technical Department,” said de Bohun.
“Throughout this consultation process a number of issues were identified regarding the current structure of the competition and its important role of player development. The participation of Foxtel National Youth League teams in the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues (NPL) was seen as providing Hyundai A-League Clubs with a more effective youth development framework, without the extensive travel requirements that were deemed to be counterproductive to youth development. Taking all this into consideration, it was timely to consider changes to the Foxtel National Youth League competition for the 2015/16 Season onwards.
“During the Hyundai A-League Club Chairmen’s Meeting in April (2015), the new Foxtel National Youth League competition format was endorsed by Hyundai A-League Clubs and then later approved by FFA’s Football Development Committee for implementation for the upcoming Foxtel National Youth League 2015/16 Season onwards.
“This initiative falls perfectly in line with the goals of the National Football Curriculum and also of our recently released Whole of Football Strategy Plan,” concluded de Bohun.
FFA Technical Director, Eric Abrams, also believes that the new Foxtel National Youth League format will be of great benefit to the players and clubs for years to come.
“The Foxtel National Youth League has been adapted for the upcoming season in line with the elite player development pathway as we all work together to produce quality footballers for the Hyundai A-League and the National teams.
“From next season all nine Australian Hyundai A-League clubs will have their youth teams will play in the relevant National Premier League competitions over the winter months against men and then come together for an abbreviated National Youth League season.
“It is an exciting step forward for football in Australia as our talented youth players will be able to take part in a coordinated “year-long” program in a consistent environment that will help develop better players,” concluded Abrams
Other key features of the Foxtel National Youth League 2015/16 Season Draw include:
- More favourable Kick-off times for matches during summer months for majority of matches;
- One Hyundai A-League Curtain-Raiser (15 Jan MBV v BNR prior to Hyundai A-League match between the same two teams at AAMI Park);
- 6 Westfield W-League Double-Headers
- Sat 14 Nov – MBC v PTH
- Sun 22 Nov – MBC v ADU
- Sun 20 Dec – MBC v MBV
- Sun 15 Nov – WSW v CCM
- Sun 22 Nov – SFC v WSW
- Sun 6 Dec – SFC v NUJ