TO FFNC MEMBER CLUBS
We again write to member clubs regarding competition structure, specifically in relation to Men’s Premier Division and the competitions that have historically been known as Premier Reserves and Men’s Division ONE.
Although formal feedback through correspondence submitted by individual clubs over many years has not always reflected various opinions expressed in some forums (including social media), FFNC is aware that all competitions will evolve in response to a range of influences. The anticipated framework to apply in season 2019 includes the following;
- Men’s PREMIER Division to consist of NINE (9) teams.
- Men’s premier reserves to be known as Premier YOUTH* (*see below)
- Men’s Division ONE to proceed based on nominations and grading.
Men’s PREMIER Division
- Participation agreements have been sent to the NINE (9) clubs that have qualified for the 2019 competition based on 2018 results.
- The competition will consist of 18 rounds (ie 16 games per team plus two byes) plus finals series.
Men’s Division ONE
- The preference is to have TEN (10) teams in this competition, however we again anticipate a reluctance of most clubs to see this tier of competition as a legitimate stand alone option that is based on player/team abilities.
- Promotion into Men’s Premier Division (and premier youth) will be the reward for the club that finishes on top of the Men’s Division ONE pointscore.
- Strategies to support the participation of youth players in these teams will be considered. This may include exemptions to “6-up rule” where appropriate.
Men’s Premier YOUTH (*)
- Each of the nine clubs fielding a men’s premier team will be required to also field a premier YOUTH team.
- The proposal is for this competition to be substantially YOUTH based (ie players aged 17-20) with a progressive increase in the number of youth players required in these teams beyond 2019.
- Each team must have an initial FIVE (5) players registered in this age demographic in the premier YOUTH team next season.
- A progressive increase in the minimum number of YOUTH players in these teams will apply beyond 2019.
There are several matters to be considered, including player numbers, age demographics and the desire of clubs to support a YOUTH based competition to underpin the men’s premier competition. Opinions vary significantly about how the men’s premier division should be formulated, including the number of teams and also whether premier reserves is relevant? A common theme has however existed for many years urging a youth competition that provides a viable option for players once they leave junior football and for the more talented players, to provide a transition towards premier division or at least into the higher tiers of competition. The aim is to urge clubs to focus on YOUTH players and to provide an incentive for clubs to promote youth players into higher competition while providing an opportunity for young players to play in an environment like Summer Youth League and to increase the participation options.