BALLARAT remains in the hunt to have a club in a revamped state soccer competition next year.
Football Federation Australia yesterday confirmed that the National Premier Leagues will be rolled out in Victoria next year as scheduled.
This follows agreement between Football Federation Victoria and its clubs on an NPL model to be applied and agreement to discontinue current proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
The new league looked as though it would not come to fruition next year with an announcement early last month from FFV that it would not go ahead as planned.
However, this latest news paves the way for the Ballarat Red Devils to reapply for a licence to join the elite competition.
The formal licence assessment process will begin shortly and will be open to former applicants as well as FFV clubs that did not participate in the previous process.
Applications will be assessed by an independent panel including FFA representation against the model agreed by FFV and the clubs.
FFA chief executive David Gallop commended Football Federation Victoria and its clubs for the far-reaching agreement that sets new standards for elite club football in Victoria.
“The NPL is an integral part of our national elite player pathway and a hugely important reform of the semi-professional tier of Australian football,” Gallop said.
“FFV and its clubs have worked through many issues and agreed on an NPL model that’s now a benchmark nationally in many areas.
“Australia wants to be among the elite nations in Asia and beyond, and that means developing the next generation of stars. I’m delighted to say that Victoria will be at the forefront of that challenge.”
FFV chairman Nick Monteleone said the NPL roll-out would have a positive impact on players, coaches and development in Victoria.
“From the outset FFV embraced the need for change and welcomed the NPL reform process,” Monteleone said.
“Today we have the opportunity to implement policies that will help our elite players in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria and at the same time help build stronger clubs.