New soccer comp resists calls for format change
By TONY WHITE
DESPITE calls from some quarters to enlarge this year's North Coast Football Premier League (NCFPL) soccer competition, the executive have ratified an eight-team first grade format.
A four-man committee headed by chairman Dennis Pierce investigated the possibility of increasing numbers in the competition's inaugural year.
"While 10 teams nominated for the new competition and qualified under the criteria the Board and senior committee believe an eight-team structure is more viable over a long-term period," Pierce said.
"The decision, we believe, is in the best interests of soccer and will allow growth.
"We've got to have a promotion and relegation system in place. If there were 10 teams it would upset the viability."
The North Coast Football Premier League is made up of two clubs from the Clarence River Soccer Association ? Grafton Majos and Westlawn Tigers ? and Sawtell, Coffs Coast Tigers, Urunga and Coffs City United Lions, from the Holiday Coast League.
Both clubs will field first and reserve grade sides, with Majos hopeful of also having a team in the local Clarence River Soccer competition.
The two remaining spots will be decided between Wool- goolga United; Grafton South Services Gunners; Valley United (Nambucca/Macksville) and Northern Storm (Korora).
However, the NCFPL executive have altered the structure for admission.
Instead of two teams playing each other with the winners gaining direct entry, the four clubs will play off in a round robin series on March 5 and 6, March 12 and 13 and March 19 and 20. Venues for the matches are yet to be determined.
The Premier League will be under-pinned by a new CoffsClarence Football League Divisions One and Two, that will include the unsuccessful contenders for the inaugural Premier League places.