Northern NSW Football held a media event to launch its 2022 National Premier Leagues competitions today.
It is a new era for football in northern NSW with its top tier men’s and women’s competitions aligned as National Premier Leagues competitions for the first time.
Players representing the 11 NPL Men’s NNSW and eight NPL Women’s NNSW competitions attended Queens Wharf Hotel in Newcastle on Monday morning, with media outlets on hand to speak to players and capture content ahead of the season.
The NPL Men’s NNSW competition starts this weekend with reigning NPL premiers Lambton Jaffas to host Maitland FC at Arthur Edden Oval on Friday night.
It promises to be an exciting NPL Men’s NNSW season with the competition expanded to 11 teams, with Cooks Hill United and former Newcastle Jets and Brisbane Roar midfielder Jacob Pepper to make their debut in the top tier when they host Adamstown Rosebud at No.2 Sportsground on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Newcastle Olympic welcome Weston Workers FC to Darling Street Oval on Saturday evening, while Edgeworth FC host Valentine FC at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Saturday night.
Damian Zane’s new-look Broadmeadow Magic travel to Macquarie Field to take on Lake Macquarie City on Sunday.
Former Newcastle Jets captain Nigel Boogaard will have to wait a week to make his Charlestown debut with Azzurri having the first bye of the season.
“It’s a new beginning and a new era for our top tier men’s and women’s competitions this season,” NNSWF General Manager Football Operations Liam Bentley said.
“The competing NPL Men’s NNSW clubs have certainly welcomed Cooks Hill United. We have had the same NPL Men’s NNSW clubs for a number of years now so to welcome a new team is fantastic.
“Cooks Hill have been a great club for a number of years and performed so well in Northern League One. I’m keen to see what they can do on the field. I’ve got no doubt they’re going to be competitive.
“It is much deserved for them and with an extra team we get a longer season and more matches for fans to enjoy which is always a good thing.”
The inaugural NPL Women’s NNSW competition kicks off on 18 March with reigning premiers Broadmeadow to welcome Adamstown Rosebud JFC to Magic Park.
NNSWF’s top tier women’s competition has transitioned to NPL status in 2022, with the eight Women’s Premier League clubs offered licences to join the new competition.
The transition is part of NNSWF’s next step as the governing body to grow the women’s game with scope for further expansion. The transition aims to raise the bar on and off the field and be the next step in improving the environment and pathway for female players developing in the region.
There was more big news with NNSWF CEO David Eland announcing all first grade games of the inaugural NPL Women’s NNSW competition would be streamed live on BarTV this season, along with all NPL Men’s NNSW matches.
The NPL Men’s NNSW and NPL Women’s NNSW match of the round and finals will also be broadcast live on NPL.TV, a national platform powered by Cluch.
“It is another investment in the game this year with us joining NPL.TV,” Eland said.
“Pretty much every member federation’s NPL Men’s and NPL Women’s competitions are going to be on the platform and we’re going to feature our matches of the round and finals.
“I think it is reflective of the investment we’re willing to make in our top tier competitions. Streaming goes well beyond the number of people watching the games live. It’s the highlights packages, goals of the week and the way we are able to use that collateral to build interest in our game.
“I’m looking forward to showcasing the very best of football in our region and in particular inspiring more girls to play our game.
“Thank you also to BarTV who have been our streaming partner for many years now and do an outstanding job.”
Elsewhere in NPL Women’s NNSW round one matches, Newcastle Olympic host Charlestown Azzurri at Darling Street Oval on the afternoon of Saturday 19 March, with Warners Bay FC to take on New Lambton FC at John Street Oval that night.
Finally, Maitland FC make the trip north to face Mid Coast FC at Taree Zone Field on Sunday 20 March in new coach David Walker’s first match in charge of the Magpies to complete the opening round.
The NPL Women’s NNSW competition will feature a number of current and former A-League Women players including Jemma House (Newcastle Olympic) and Warners Bay trio Cass Davis, Tara Andrews and Lauren Allen.
The full 2022 NPL Men’s NNSW and NPL Women’s NNSW fixture lists are available HERE.