Victorian National Premier Leagues 2018 - A homegrown players’ assessment

2020-02-28T19:03:13Z (GMT) by Rick Piccinelli
Due to a lack of emerging young talent, in 2012 the Football Federation Australia (FFA) created the National-Premier-League (NPL) to promote a greater focus on youth development. One of the main objectives was that elite players would transition through the state clubs’ youth systems with greater opportunities to play senior football. The success of this reform has often been questioned and thus this project assessed the number of homegrown players in senior NPL rosters, their age and game time participation during the 2018 Victorian season. The overall proportion of homegrown players is approximately 12%. Only three State NPL metropolitan clubs have successfully produced internally for over 20% of their rosters demonstrating that it is still possible to compete at a senior level without relying on an internal youth system. It was also discovered that over a quarter of all homegrown players are produced in rural areas and that on average homegrown appearance in senior games is only 5.7 %. These results overall show that the NPL succeeded in restricting the signing of older players but in comparison to overseas homegrown production, proportions are far inferior confirming the concerns expressed by authors in regard to Australian youth football development and its environment.