COASTAL Premier League (CPL) clubs will meet with Football Mid North Coast and North Coast Football officials on October 5 to discuss the make-up of the 2023 season.
FMNC chairman, Lance Fletcher rubbished suggestions the CPL wouldn't go ahead next year. Mr Fletcher conceded there were problems with the CPL this season, but said that in the main they were due disruptions caused by wet weather.
Two clubs, Southern United from Forster-Tuncurry and Bellingen were added to the CPL this year, bringing the number to 12. The competition stretched from Forster-Tuncurry to Coffs Harbour. It is run by Football Mid North Coast and North Coast Football.
Mr Fletcher thinks that eventually the CPL will be reduced to 10 or even eight clubs. However, he wouldn't be drawn on the composition of the 2023 season and said any decision to play in the CPL would be up to the individual clubs. No club would be forced out.
"We're not Big Brother,'' he said.
In his opinion there would eventually be a realignment of clubs.
"For instance instead of two clubs in Kempsey, there'd be one, with the Kempsey Saints and Macleay Valley the feeders. The same might happen in Port Macquarie as well as in the Coffs Harbour area,'' he said.
However, he said this was a few years down the track.
He believes a priority for Football Mid North Coast is the formation of a Zone Premier League (ZPL). This would involve clubs from the north and south of the zone currently playing in the all age competitions. It would be one grade only.
Mr Fletcher said this would be a perfect fit for Southern League powerhouse Wingham and their northern counterparts, Camden Haven.
"It would be a level lower than the CPL, but also a rung higher that the current all age competitions,'' he said.
FMNC has tried to establish a ZPL since the formational of the CPL in 2020, but the reaction from clubs has been lukewarm.
Mr Franklin reasons that restrictions imposed during the pandemic was partly responsible for this and said the zone would continue with its aim of starting a ZPL.
"And not just for the men, we want a ZPL for the women as well for northern and southern clubs,'' he said.
FMNC reduced the semi-final series for its domestic northern and southern competitions this year after wet weather caused cancellation of games and disruptions early in the year.
This was to give all junior and senior teams more football.
The southern grand finals in all junior and senior grades were played last weekend at the Zone Field in Taree. This was the first time since 2019 that the zone has played grand finals due to the pandemic.
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