CHANGES are afoot for the Western Premier League this year, with the old first, second and under 18s format making way for a first grade and under 20s structure.
WPL chief executive officer Jim Auld will be holding the competition’s annual general meeting on Sunday, February 3, with the number of teams competing in 2013 and the proposed changes to competition rules set to headline the meeting.
In the past, teams played in first, second and under-18 premier league grades but with Football NSW changing its competition structure guidelines at the end of the 2012 season, the WPL is set to fall in line and adopt the two grades instead of three.
Auld explained why this was the case.
“The number of clubs have found it incredibly hard to field three teams each season, so this year we’ve decided to go along with the changes put forward by Football NSW. This will make it a more elitist competition,” he said.
“We’ll also be introducing a replacement rule for players who go off the field to have a rest. Once they come off, they can go back after 10 minutes or so ... this will be known as the interchange rule.”
In the past, the interchange rule was only for second grade teams but for the first time will be available to the first and under 20s grades this year.
This will in turn be more beneficial to players and coaches as players can leave the field if they’re tired and be allowed to come back on later in the match.
Auld said he believed both players and coaches will be happy with the change, as it fell in line with Football NSW rules.
All draws will be decided and announced after the meeting, when the correct number of teams is determined.
“Once the nominations are in, we’ll knock out a few draws. I’m going to send out meeting details to all clubs in western NSW in the next few weeks,” Auld said.
He said the meeting would be held in Molong, a half-way point for clubs from Lithgow, Parkes, Dubbo, Mudgee, Young and Cowra.