Thursday, 10 December 2015


Singleton Strikers have announced former Hunter Valley Football Technical Director David Willoughby as their head coach for the upcoming 2016 New-FM Season. Willoughby will fill the shoes of Scott Baillie who took the Upper Hunter club to within one game of the Playoffs in 2015.

Willoughby's appointment is one that the Strikers feel will take them to further success in the new season and the word going round is that Willoughby is excited to take the position and work with one of the hardest-working sides in the division. He has promised to focus a lot of attention on the Strikers' defence and there's no doubt that a lot of keen eyes will be on the trial matches when a refreshed Singleton take to the park.

The Strikers will be without import goalkeeper Stuart Plant in the 2016 season but there's a general feeling around the division that the boys from Singo will again trouble some of the top sides.

*Correction: Plant will be staying on with Singleton next season. Perhaps Newysports needs an Upper Hunter Correspondent!


Toronto-Awaba are pleased with the attendance of their Annual General Meeting and from the outside looking in it seems as though the club are working hard on some off-field issues and looking at planning a decent campaign in 2016. With one of the better fields in the division and some hard-working youngsters involved, there's no doubting the Stags could be a side to watch next year.


With pre-season well underway at several New-FM clubs, some teams are starting to announce some potential dates for trial matches.

-Cooks Hill United will play Thornton (venue TBC) on Sunday January 17th in all four grades. The Cookers 17's and 19's are pencilled in to play on February 14th as well in the curtain-raisers to the annual Morisset United v Toronto-Awaba match. Lastly, the Cookers are rumoured to be travelling to Port Macquarie as part of their 2016 Pre-Season.

-South Cardiff are pencilled in to play on Sunday January 24th in all four grades (venue TBC)

-Finally, West Wallsend have announced their full pre-season schedule (as below):

16th January v Kahibah FC
30th January v Cessnock City
7th Febuary v Singleton
10th February v Lakes (17's ONLY at 6:30pm)
13th February v Mayfield United (excluding 1st Grade)
+Trials for 17/19/23's on FFA Cup Weekend (20th and 21st February)

ALL Games are pencilled in to be played at Johnston Park ("Wembley") and kickoff times are 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm.

-Newysports will have pre-season trial coverage from several of the matches.


*Source: Toronto-Awaba FB Page

The Premier Competition Review Advisory Committee (PCRAC) convened last night in response to the recent meeting of the Men’s Competition Standing Committees to discuss the clubs’ feedback in relation to the PCRAC’s initial recommendations.
Items discussed:
1. NPL Competitions
PCRAC Initial Recommendation: 1st Grade, 20s (with 5 overage players including the Goalkeeper), 18s, 16s, 15s, 14s & 13s.
PCRAC deliberated the points raised by some clubs in relation to the continuation of the 22’s. Further PPS data provided by NNSWF Management was also presented for consideration. FFA’s direction and the vital role of the NPL in relation to Youth Development was reaffirmed. PCRAC acknowledges that a number of 21 and 22 year old players would be adversely impacted, however it was ultimately determined that the NPL provided a seamless development pathway for younger players. The maintenance of 5 overage players in the proposed 20s also contributed to the PCRAC unanimously determining that the initial recommendation would be presented to the Board of Directors for endorsement.
2. 1st Division Competitions
PCRAC Initial Recommendation: 1st Division grades should mirror those of the NPL.
The PCRAC reaffirmed its initial recommendation that clubs seeking to participate in the New FM 1st Division from 2017 will be required to comply fully with the Elite Club Accreditation Criteria (ECA) and field teams in 1st Grade, 20s (with 5 overage players including the Goalkeeper), 18s, 16s, 15s, 14s & 13s. On this basis the 1st Division would be positioned as NPL 2. Further NNSWF may consider conducting a 2nd Tier competition from 2017 that is not subject to promotion, dependent upon the number of quality applications received.
3. Basis of Promotion and Relegation
PCRAC Initial Recommendation: Promotion and Relegation to be based on Club Championship encompassing all grades with a heavy weighting on First Grade.
NNSWF Management provided the PCRAC with various modelling based on a Club Championship encompassing all grades (1st to 13s) and also only including senior grades (1st grade to 19s). The PCRAC determined that the basis for promotion and relegation be determined on the basis of a revised Club Championship across the three “senior” grades only (1st, 20’s & 18’s). NNSWF Management to recommend weighting in due course. The potential negative impact of including Youth Grades was discussed.
Next steps:
Clubs seeking to discuss the above recommendations further are invited to schedule a meeting with NNSWF’s Management prior to 9 December. Concerns and/or implications in relation to the recommendations which have not been raised previously should be the basis of scheduled meetings.
NNSWF’s CEO will be presenting the PCRAC’s recommendations in accordance with the Review’s Terms of Reference to NNSWF’s Board of Directors on Sunday 13th December.


With those potential plans; what are your thoughts? How will Cooks Hill cope with the additional grades and how will Thornton and Wallsend juggle both Premier Youth Grades and WPL/Zone League at their venues. It's an interesting one to say the very least.

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