Coastal Premier League (CPL) is inviting applications for a potential increase in the number of teams in the competition from 2022.
There are ten teams in the most senior men’s football league on the New South Wales mid and north coasts at present. The committees overseeing football in the region are inviting applications from clubs to expand the competition to 12 teams.
CPL commenced in 2020 and aims to provide a higher-level competition for players on the mid and north coasts. At present, there are five teams from the Coffs Harbour area and five teams from the mid-north coast, taking in Port Macquarie, Taree and Kempsey.
Both Football Mid North Coast and North Coast Football have received approaches from clubs wishing to join the competition. All clubs in both football zones will be given until 31 August 2021 to apply to join the competition.
Should the committees approve additional teams from those applications, it is anticipated there would be one team from the mid-north coast and one from the north coast, which takes in the Coffs and Clarence areas.
CPL has been overwhelmingly received positively by players, spectators and media since its arrival last year. The standard of the inter-zone competition is driving the interest from the new clubs. More players want to compete at a higher level each week.
Even with the possible expansion of Coastal Premier League, lower-level competitions will remain vibrant and robust, providing both a path to CPL or acting as a purely social and local competition.
Football in northern New South Wales has bounced back following the worst of the global pandemic in 2020, with registration numbers beating last year and, in some cases, the year before.
The game has been buoyed by Australia and New Zealand winning the right to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.
It received a further boost recently with the announcement by broadcaster CBS Viacom that it would invest heavily in broadcasting and promoting the game via its Network Ten free-to-air channels and Paramount Plus online service.