EXCLUSIVE: Former Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Griffin McMaster has labelled the entire National Premier League Victoria saga a “shambles” as the state league clubs’ futures remain unclear.
McMaster, who also had a stint at Wellington Phoenix in the 2012-13 A-League season, now plies his trade at Oakleigh Cannons in the Victorian Premier League.
And with Football Federation Victoria (FFV) and state league clubs fighting it out in court over the implementation of the NPL in Victoria in 2014, players are uncertain where their futures lie.
“It’s a shambles at the moment,” McMaster told au.fourfourtwo.com. “It’s not very good.
“Some of the criteria is obviously not what the clubs are looking for. I just hope the clubs and the governing body can come to an agreement in all the areas that are required.
“There does need to be some changes from a players perspective but hopefully the clubs and the governing body can come together and resolve that.
“The governing body I think have put some heavy demands on the clubs. The clubs pure and simply can not survive with those demands, so a lot of those clubs would bleed and die.”
One particular criteria that FFV are looking to implement for 2014 is the cutting back of players over the age of 25, something that has angered not only McMaster but a number of experienced players in the VPL.
“I’m 30 years of age and I think that’s a bit of a sin,” McMaster said. “How about you say you can’t be a coach over 40 or you can’t be a physio over 35. That for mine is not right.
“You want to promote football in Victoria and not demote it. The players over 25 rule is just going the wrong way.”
McMaster suffered a difficult season at Oakleigh in 2013, including a falling out with then manager Bill Theodoropoulos, before Miron Bleiberg took over the reins in May.
Despite the efforts of the former Roar and Gold Coast United boss, Oakleigh only managed to finish seventh on the table after making the grand final in 2012.
McMaster though believes there are a number of players at the club who could cut it at A-League level if called upon.
“There’s three or four young boys there that had good seasons and could go on,” he added. “I hope they get identified and get a shot.
“Dusan Bosnjak is one player who had a good season. Goran Zoric is 25 but he’s more than capable of doing the job at A-League level, I know that.
“Evan Christodoulou has been fantastic too. He’s got a great engine and he can definitely play.
“There are a couple of youngsters there that are coming through that can probably make it in to the Oakleigh first team and make the step next year.”
Regardless of the ongoing court battle and uncertainty surrounding the sport in Victoria for next year, McMaster is confident there will be football.
“I think after the finals series the players will be looking for a good break,” he said. “The future of the league is obviously in the governing body and the courts hands, but we’re confident there will be football next year.”
“Players will get the itch in January and go on.”