- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 31 July 2013
Photo: Sean Collins (left), the president of FFT, and John Boulous, the FFT CEO, at today's announcement of the new NPL finals series [PlessPix]
It looks very much as if South Hobart will play the champions of South Australia for a place in the final of the inaugural Australia-wide National Premier Leagues (NPL) finals series in October.
The winner of the Victory League seems almost certain to be South Hobart and the new competition devised by Football Federation Australia commences at the end of the current season.
Photo: FFT president Sean Collins [PlessPix]
The NPL finals series is a national competition for the winners of each State’s top-flight competition and will determine the national champions outside the A-League.
In 2013, there are five member federations participating in the finals series: Football Federation Tasmania (FFT), Football Federation South Australia (FFSA), Capital Football (ACT), Football NSW, and Football Queensland.
Football Federation Victoria will not be entering their champions team in 2013 so Tasmania’s winner - almost certainly South Hobart - moves straight into the semi-finals.
The semi-final involving the Tasmanian team and the South Australian champions will be played in Hobart at a venue yet to be determined.
Normally, the NPL finals series has three stages: Eliminations Finals, Semi Finals and a Final, with the final to be held as a curtain-raiser to an A-League fixture.
Football Federation Tasmania will always draw Football Federation Victoria (FFV) in the Elimination Round of the competition.
But, because FFV are not participating in the NPL setup in 2013, this puts the Tasmania champions straight through to a semi-final berth, or just two wins away from what FFT describes as ‘national glory’.
FFT President Sean Collins said today at a media conference at KGV Park that the NPL finals series provides Tasmanian football with a fantastic opportunity.
“The NPL finals series is a tremendous thing for Tasmanian football,” Collins said.
“It enables us to pit ourselves against the best from across the country and measure our standing in Australian football.”
Photo: FFT CEO John Boulous at today's announcement [PlessPix]
FFT will host the semi-final against the FFSA champions, who also have a bye in the first round.
The match will take place in October on the weekend of the 5th and 6th.
The Final will take place the following weekend of the 12th and 13th of October.
“The Victory League has seen a rise in the publicity and the standard of football within the state and it is fantastic we can now also hold an NPL semi-final to showcase our sport further,” said Collins.
The NPL finals series follows the PFD-sponsored double-header at Kingston that includes an A-League pre-season fixture between Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory against a Tasmanian Victory League representative team.
“The NPL semi-final will provide yet another exhibition of high-standard football for fans to enjoy as well as a demonstration of the rising standard of the local game,” said Collins.
“On our home soil in front of a vocal and partisan Tasmanian crowd there is no reason why our State-wide champions couldn’t do very well.
“October is traditionally a quiet time in the local football calendar so this is a wonderful opportunity for fans to come and see a game which will be high in passion and skill.”