Football Victoria (FV) have released the NPL Men's & Women's fixtures for Season 2022, highlighted by an enticing opening round on several fronts.
After two interrupted Football Seasons in 2020 and 2021, the 2022 Football Season cannot come fast enough, with the Victorian NPL Competitions set to serve up a wealth of football action.
On Thursday February 17 2022, South Melbourne FC and Heidelberg United FC will open the NPL Men's Top Tier season at Lakeside Stadium. This game is followed by two Friday night matches (Friday February 18), Oakleigh Cannons FC hosting Green Gully SC and Dandenong City SC at home against Melbourne Knights FC.
Four additional fixtures will complete Round 1 on Saturday, 19 February. Dandenong Thunder FC will host Eastern Lions SC, Altona Magic SC at home against Hume City FC , Port Melbourne Sharks SC versus St. Albans Saints SC and finally Avondale FC will take on the visiting Bentleigh Greens SC.
Football Victoria’s NPL General Manager Ezel Hikmet said he is eagerly anticipating an exciting start to the NPL Men's opening Round 1 fixtures. “Coming off the back of two seasons that could not be completed in full, the Football Community in Victoria desperately needs football back across both our Senior and Junior Competitions”.
“The demand for a high-level standard of football in Victoria is growing year on year and the NPL Competitions provide all aspiring and elite players a pathway to develop and play week in week out at the best level in Victoria”.
“We have had great success with all of the NPL Mens Top Tier and the NPL Womens matches being live streamed throughout 2021 and look to build on those matches being broadcast throughout the 2022 season. Another highlight to look forward to will be the NPL Mens Top Tier and NPL Womens double header Grand Final held in September."
The 2022 fixture release follows considerable collaboration between NPL clubs and FV's NPL Competitions Team.
The NPL Mens Top Tier live draw, usually held in person, was conducted online due to COVID-19 restrictions with all Clubs in attendance. The fixture pattern numbers and Club names were drawn at random, which generated the fixture pattern for the 2022 season.
Another highlight in the new year will be the NPL Women's Competition, which for the first time in its history will be classified as a professional league. This evolution to a professional status means the Competition will now align with other NPL Women's competitions throughout Australia.
“For our female footballers to now have a professional league in 2022 is fantastic for our game and shows we are making big strides forward," Hikmet said.
“The NPLW will continue to grow and progress and we are extremely proud to play a big part over the last couple of years to bring our Senior Women's competition to equality with the NPL Men's”.