Inaugural NNSWF Premier Youth League to kick off

Scores of talented players will start to enjoy an improved youth football experience when the inaugural Northern NSW Football Premier Youth League kicks off this weekend.

The PYL Girls competition starts on Sunday with Mid Coast FC to host Adamstown Rosebud JFC, Broadmeadow Magic facing New Lambton FC, Warners Bay FC taking on Newcastle Olympic and Maitland FC making the trip south to face Charlestown Azzurri.

Divisions one and two of the PYL Boys competition start on the weekend of 25-26 March.

NNSWF announced the decoupling of its male youth football from senior football in September last year with the launch of its new youth competition structure.

The NNSWF Premier Youth League has been designed to enhance the talented player pathway, enable more competitive football for young players and facilitate more games of best versus best and like versus like.

All premier competitions clubs that met the criteria, including regional football programs Mid Coast FC, North Coast Football and NIAS, were invited to enter the inaugural competition. Key points include:

  • The PYL has replaced the youth components of the NPL NNSW and Northern League One
  • Under-18s boys have moved from the existing senior competition structure to join the PYL
  • The league structure for girls youth football has not changed. But fast-tracking the PYL Girls competition following consultation with clubs allowed equal opportunity for girls to play more football with a Pre-Season Cup and knockout League Cup.
  • Youth players will be involved in more matches and play significantly more match minutes
  • Clubs will be rewarded for the strength of its youth program
  • Decoupling of youth football has allowed a review of senior competition structures

NNSWF General Manager Football Operations Liam Bentley said creation of the Premier Youth League was a positive for the region’s talented young players and their clubs.

“We’re so excited that the inaugural Premier Youth League season is about to kick off,” Bentley said.

“And even better is that with our regional teams from North Coast Football, Mid Coast FC and Northern Inland Academy of Sport, the footprint for the competition is almost right across our region given talented boys and girls even more opportunity.”

NNSWF Interim CEO Peter Haynes said the benefits would be substantial.

“The fact that these talented players get to play vastly more competitive minutes will be a huge benefit to them developmentally as players,” Haynes said.

“This is especially so for our girls. While the league structure for girls youth football has not changed, we consulted with our clubs to fast-track the PYL Girls competition to allow equal opportunity for girls to play more football with a Pre-Season Cup and knockout League Cup.

“We’re really looking forward to the season and we wish our PYL players all the very best for the season ahead.”

The new PYL competition was created last year with the specific focus on youth players and their development, with the decoupling of youth football from senior football allowing discussions to be had regarding the senior league structure without any negative impacts facing youth programs.

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The establishment of the Premier Youth League has been complemented by a formal Pre-Season Cup, two midweek knockout tournaments and a nine-a-side Summer Series at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility to significantly increase the number of match minutes and competitive football played by our young players.

The PYL Girls Pre-Season Cup concluded last weekend, with Adamstown Rosebud JFC downing Charlestown Azzurri 1-0 in the under-13s final and Maitland FC edging Charlestown Azzurri 2-1 in the under-15s final.

The under-17s final was postponed due to hot weather, which the match between Maitland FC and Newcastle Olympic to be played as their PYLG round two meeting.

More information about Premier Youth League including fixtures and FAQs are available HERE