Coastal Premier League today announced the competition would expand to 12 teams in 2022 with the inclusion of Bellingen from the Coffs Harbour area and Southern United from the Forster-Tuncurry area.
Coastal Premier League (CPL) began in 2020 with ten teams – five teams from the Coffs Harbour area and five from Port Macquarie, Taree and Kempsey.
Earlier this year, football’s governing bodies in the region approved plans to consider applications to expand the league to take advantage of the positive momentum generated in the first two years of the competition.
The inclusion of the two new teams will take the competition to places that previously hadn’t been home to the CPL.
Southern United, based in Forster-Tuncurry, is backed by Great Lakes United and the Tuncurry Forster Tigers. CPL matches will be shared between the clubs, whose grounds have received upgrades valued at more than a million dollars in the last four years. The club has adopted the Osprey as its mascot.
Bellingen will play as the Bats out of Connell Park and draw players from within the shire and surrounding areas, including Nambucca. In recent years, Bellingen has had solid finishes in the second and third divisions, setting them to make the jump to CPL.
Quotes attributable to Andrew Woodward, General Manager, North Coast Football (Coffs Harbour area) and Bruce Potter, General Manager, Football Mid-North Coast (Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Taree and Great Lakes area).
CPL has created an excellent name for itself in its first two years of operation. The quality of football has been solid, and new rivalries made.
Players like the high-level competition and the variety of teams and venues make it an attractive competition.
Seeing this success, the time was right to look at accelerating the expansion. We had great proposals from both Southern United and Bellingen.
We wanted to build upon the positive momentum and keep it going by taking the game to new places, giving a whole new breed of players more opportunities to play.
Both clubs have thought through the step up to CPL. We’re confident they’ll get off to be a good start and be sustainable in the long term.