TAREE Wildcats Football Club has three main areas of concern regarding the expansion of the Coastal Premier League (CPL) to 12 teams for 2022.
In a press release, club president Ben Sedlen said:
"Taree Wildcats would like to congratulate Southern United for gaining one of the new licences for CPL. The Wildcats look forward to forming a healthy rivalry with this new club on the pitch.
"We understand the need for a team from the Great Lakes region to give their players access to high level football. We hope that the new club focuses on footballers from the Great Lakes region, and does not need to target any of our playing base as recruitment targets to fill their team.
"In regards to the CPL expansion, we do not believe that this should have occurred for these reasons:
- Length of competition,
- Initial licence period offered,
- Lack of support from existing clubs.
"With 12 teams, we are now looking at a competition over 22 rounds plus finals. Add pre-season in and players, coaches and clubs are being asked to commit for basically nine months of the year. There is a 22 per cent increase in the length of the normal season compared to 2021. This is a massive commitment from amateur players, coaches and club volunteers and is now an added deterrent to some of the best players committing to play CPL. At least the players are getting value for money.
"The decision of Football Mid North Coast to expand their competition to 12 teams, in our opinion, breached the three year licence they provided to all of the clubs, as they have done this a year earlier than the licences allowed for. We are disappointed that they have chosen to do this without consultation with the clubs, nor the playing base, to our knowledge. This decision did not have input of the licence holders.
"To find out a month or so back that this was happening in 2022 was disappointing.
"We really feel sorry for Camden Haven FC, the unsuccessful applicant.
"The new licences go from 2022 to 2024.
"If FMNC stuck to their original licences, it would have likely been a fair playing field for all clubs interested in applying. It would also have given us, as a club, the space to continue to implement our improvement plan. This was in our opinion one of the key reasons why we entered the CPL and one of the key benefits of helping FMNC filling the CPL vacancy in 2019.
"This was the key reason the licence system existed. Our club is investing heavily in growing the game, and to have the rules that we are working within changed is disappointing.
"Again, we wish Southern United well with their endeavours in the CPL. Forster, is definitely a market that needed a team.''
"We will making an announcement about our coaching line up for 2022 in the next few weeks. Negotiations with strong coaching candidates are well advanced."