National Premier Leagues: Capital Football newcomers Gungahlin United will kick-off the 2015 season with a blockbuster opening day clash against reigning Grand Final champions Belconnen United at McKellar Park. The Blue Devils hosting the newest member of the elite division will mark the official launch of the campaign on Saturday 11th April at 5:30pm.
The fixture is one of four intriguing ties from Round 1 of the competition with League Champions Tigers FC welcoming the amalgamated Woden-Weston FC to Nijong Oval as they attempt to get the defence of their NPL crown off to a winning start. Meanwhile, a new-look Canberra Olympic will host Tuggeranong United at O’Connor Enclosed whilst Canberra FC, aiming to get back to the top of the pile, welcome a confident Monaro Panthers to Deakin Stadium.
“The Gungahlin versus Belconnen match will be a terrific way for us to kick-off the new season,” Capital Football Competition Manager, Chris Doyle commented. “Gungahlin will be fielding a very strong set of teams throughout the NPL structure and have a commitment to the Women’s Premier League as well which will see them become a welcome part of the Canberra football community.”
After plenty of off-field comment throughout the summer months, attention will switch to the action on the field as the nine members of the NPL get ready for the long haul towards the silverware.
“There has been much comment about the state of the Gungahlin United set-up over the past few months but we are delighted to say that the committee and the club are eagerly anticipating the first round of fixtures,” Doyle said. “The club is in a sound financial position, particularly compared to some other clubs, and it has met the requirements of their NPL and WPL licence. Some other clubs, however, are yet to appoint Technical Directors and one club is unable to field any teams in the women’s premier league which means they are not fully compliant with the terms of their licence.”
Doyle added that contrary to rumours about a possible replacement for Gungahlin United if the club had not wanted to continue or had been unable to fulfil its obligations as per the licence criteria then no licence would have been offered to another entity. “If Gungahlin was not going to be in the competition then we would have reverted to an eight club league for the men” he said.
The Capital Football Board of Directors will receive a scorecard based on compliance against the licence criteria for each club at the next meeting later in February. “Capital Football will continue to monitor each club in the NPL structure over the course of the season to ensure that all clubs are meeting the standards of the licence agreement. We will do our best to assist the clubs in whatever way we can in order for them to fulfil the licence as set by the FFA and implemented by Capital Football”, Doyle added.
ROUND 1 NPL
Saturday 11th April
Belconnen United v Gungahlin United (McKellar Park), 5:30pm
Sunday 12th April
Canberra FC v Monaro Panthers (Deakin Stadium)
Canberra Olympic v Tuggeranong United (O’Connor Enclosed)
Tigers FC v Woden-Weston FC v (Nijong Oval)
ROUND 1 WPL
Sunday 12th April – details to be confirmed
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