New players, newly promoted sides, new sponsor, newly laid football pitches, football is alive and well in NSW.
It’s back better than ever. Pencil in Saturday 14th of March as the PlayStation 4 NPL NSW 2015 Men’s 1 competition kicks off in what promises to be one of the best seasons yet.
The off-season was short, but plenty happened while the teams were in their respective periods of hibernation.
The graduation of Kearyn Baccus (Western Sydney Wanderers), Travis Major, Jacob Poscoliero and Zac Cairncross (all Central Coast Mariners) from state league to national league footballers once more highlighted the important role that state league football plays in the development of some of the country's brightest young stars.
All players were part of the successful 2014 Blacktown City squad that took all the honours defeating Sydney Olympic 2-1 in last season’s Grand Final.
The former Blacktown City FC players will hope to emulate the likes of brothers Jason and Glen Trifiro as well as Matthew Sim, with the latter two making their marks at the Mariners, and provide further inspiration for the next crop of promising footballers.
Some teams have already had a taste of silverware in 2015. Rockdale City Suns won the Maso Cup, while Sydney United 58 FC came up victorious in the Friendship Cup against the Melbourne Knights, where they showed off their big name signings Panny Nikas and Nick Stavroulakis.
This year also sees the reintroduction of Parramatta FC, who have been promoted from Mens 2, with St George going the other way.
Clubs such as APIA Leichhardt Tigers, who have recruited heavily, as well as the Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Sydney Olympic will be clubs to watch for while the likes of Blacktown Spartans, Manly United, Marconi Stallions, Sutherland Sharks under new coach Steve O’Connor and South Coast Wolves will hope to cause a few shocks in gunning for a top five finish.
It all makes for an exciting mix in this year's competition – for more information log onto the official competition website on www.nplnsw.com.au
Image courtesy of Football NSW