The OPTUS Premier League offers clubs & academies the opportunity to play at a higher level against other clubs/academies from different regions and zones, whilst still supporting, representing and playing for their local football club on a Friday or Saturday.
It will see the best 6 x teams in each age group, from across the zones compete once a month and offer genuine ongoing opportunities and pathways to higher level football Nationally and Internationally.
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FIFA Talent identification - "give everyone a chance to PLAY"
Steven Martens FIFA Technical Director & Arsene Wenger FIFA Chief of Global Football Development
SUPPORT FLOODS IN FOR THE OPTUS PREMIER LEAGUE
ELEVEN SPORT ACADEMY ITALY - Commits to the OPTUS Premier League
We have been working with Eleven Sports Academy in Italy since 2019, inviting selected players of Football who want to improve their sports, technical, tactical and athletic level/ability, as well as make adjustments to suit the European method of Football.
The Academy is 12000 square meter sports centre located in Presicce, which includes a Padel pitch, 5 soccer field, outdoor swimming pool, sports complex, food area, relax area, a gym, store area, accommodation, academy area and so much more.
The ultimate goal is to obtain a Contract with a Professional Club of the Italian League FIGC.
Optus Premier League pushes forward with March 2022 start date
Champion qualities: Junior footballers from up and down the coast will vie for the title of best in the zone from March 2022.
A number of Football clubs have thrown their support behind a proposed development competition which will aim to strengthen the quality of junior football on the Mid North Coast from 2022.
The high-level competition - labelled the Optus Premier League - will bring together the best six football teams in each age division from under-10 to under-18 boys and girls. An open women's division will also be included.
Competition director Mick Day has met with a number of club representatives from both Football Mid North Coast and North Coast Football zones in recent weeks.
The clubs believe there needs to be more development opportunities for players which would allow them to play a higher level of football, whether that was in the OPL or something different.
It would then allow the players to progress through the ranks into the current Coastal Premier League.
"We haven't applied for FMNC or NNSWF sanctioning as the league can operate under a professional administration system," he said.
"This allows us the freedom to offer more opportunities and work with all involved in the football community.
"We work very well and directly with Football Australia and play our current teams into many FA events, but we do have avenues to apply for sanctioning if required."
Many football leagues around the country currently operate under professional administration, including one of Sydney's biggest competitions, the Premier Academy League which houses around 2000 players.
The OPL will still operate under the current FIFA rules and laws and fully-covered insurances. Clubs from Sydney and Newcastle have also expressed an interest with the season set to start in March.
Mr Day reiterated the competition had not been created to take away from the existing Premier League competitions in each of the respective zones.
It was about providing opportunities for everyone involved in the game.
"This is about developing football in our area because we have to think as a football community, what do we get as a football community," he said.
"Sure, the players are going to get development opportunities and pathways, but under the competition so will the coaches, the officials, the referees."
The aim was for the quality of football to improve over time so high-level players wouldn't have to travel the two-and-a-half hours for a game as is the case in the current National Premier League.
"We genuinely want our region to be equal to or better than Newcastle," Mr Day said.
"There should be no need that we have to go down there to get a high level game. It's not just for the players, this is for the football community.
"If we don't look after our coaches, our officials, our staff, our referees or our clubs, it's one-dimensional and it doesn't have a future."
This is about developing football in our area because we have to think as a football community, what do we get as a football community.
Most importantly, all players will still be able to continue to play for their club side on a Friday night or Saturday which should boost club numbers and lift the level of football in each area.
The competition fixtures will be played on a Sunday.
"The players who want to play a high-level, high-performance premier league will still be able to do that, but they'll still be able to represent their club every weekend too," Mr Day said.
"It's full steam ahead. Divisions are full enough now from under-10s right through that we have to now start ranking some.