Fears for Strikers’ NPLW bid

Ballarat Eureka Strikers’ bid to join the Women’s National Premier League is in limbo with question marks over whether the club can meet Football Federation Victoria’s requirements.

Strikers' coach Laura Brady.

Strikers' coach Laura Brady.

Strikers’ coach Laura Brady said in a press release sent to The Courier that in October last year the FFV had accepted the club’s application to be part of the NPLW competition, but its entry depended on a rise in female participation numbers in the Ballarat region. 

Brady, who has been the key driver behind the submission, said FFV had established a list of targets for the Strikers and the Ballarat and District Soccer Association to meet during discussions in July, with a progress report to be submitted in August.

She said the report had not eventuated due to the two bodies’ inability to draft a unified response and feared the club no longer had the backing of the BDSA.

It is unlikely the Strikers will be able to secure its spot in the elite state-based soccer league without this support.

While president Herman Bogers was contacted for comment, he declined to confirm the BDSA’s position.

The Courier understands there will be further discussions between the two organisations in the coming weeks.

NPLW eligibility takes into account teams, youth development, coaching, governance,  organisational structure, finance, facilities, medical, reporting, member protection, council support, track record in women’s and girl’s football and geography (location of applicants).

It has been a disappointing year for the Strikers, which are now likely to be relegated after finishing bottom of the ladder in Football Federation Victoria women’s state league north-west one competition.

While injuries played a part in a horror run of losses, the result was far from the club’s expectations at the start of the season.

Brady said back in April the Strikers had the talent to be in the top four, but whether that could be achieved would come down to experience.

But Brady remained optimistic about the direction of the club with 60 players having committed to the Strikers and was insistent on finding a way to improve pathways for female players in the region.