No backdown on premier league decision

Football Mid North Coast chairman Mike Parsons.
Football Mid North Coast chairman Mike Parsons.

FOOTBALL Mid North Coast’s board will consider playing a three round premier league next year when the competition is reduced to eight clubs.

This could include playing some mid-week matches under lights.

“We’ll be doing this in consultation with the clubs,’’ FMNC chairman Mike Parsons said.

Mr Parsons said the mid-week games would be local derbies involving the Forster-Tuncurry, Port Macquarie or Kempsey clubs.

“We think this is a way we can promote our competition and also give those people who can’t get to a game on a Saturday afternoon the opportunity to attend a match,’’ he said.

“We haven’t worked the mechanics out yet, but this is something under consideration.’’

The premier league has been run over two rounds involving 18 games, although this was with nine clubs.

The league will be restricted to eight clubs from next year. This was announced in 2017 by the Football Mid North Coast board. This year’s first grade wooden spooners, Wauchope, will drop out of the premier league in 2019 and play in the Northern League.

Mr Parsons confirmed the board won’t be revisiting the decision. It was reported in the Times on Friday September 14 that Wauchope was seeking support from other premier league clubs in a bid to stay in the competition. Taree president Ben Sedlen said he backed Wauchope’s bid, although he added it hadn’t been discussed by his club at committee-level.

Mr Parsons said Wauchope has contacted the board on the matter.

“Wauchope say they have the support from other clubs, but it's anecdotal at best. There’s nothing in writing from any other club,’’ he said.

Mr Parsons said the decision was announced two years ago and was made in consultation with clubs. He said all were aware of the situation and the matter was discussed again towards the end of last season.

“I can understand Wauchope’s request, but there’s sound logic and reasoning behind the board’s decision to make the premier league an eight club competition,’’ he said.

“The decision will stand.’’

Mr Parsons added that the promotion/relegation system will come back into play from 2020. This would give clubs from the southern and northern league 

competitions the opportunity to challenge for a place in the premier league.

Meanwhile Football Mid North Coast will host a double header at the Zone Field at Taree on Sunday. The Newcastle W-League team will meet a Football Mid North Coast Selection while the Football Mid North Coast Northern and Southern sides will clash for the first time.