PS4 NPL 2015: Football's engine room roars into action

The race to be crowned Australia’s top semi-professional club kicked off on Wednesday with the launch of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues (NPL) 2015 season.

Now entering its third year, the PS4 NPL was described by Football Federation Australia chief, David Gallop, as the engine room of elite player development.

This year's launch event at Adelaide Shores Football Centre preceded the opening match of the South Australia season between reigning NPL Champions of Australia MetroStars SC and last year’s South Australia champions Croydon Kings.'

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The PS4 NPL spans eight State and Territory competitions, with the premier club of each qualifying for the national play-offs in September and October.

This year will see a number of firsts with A-League clubs Adelaide United, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City fielding youth teams in their respective competitions. All three clubs will also field Under 20 sides in the respective reserves competitions.

The trio join Brisbane Roar, Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory as other clubs who already have sides competing in their local leagues.

Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers are set to field teams in 2016 while a date is yet to be determined for the Central Coast Mariners.

In Adelaide for the launch, FFA chief David Gallop said the PS4 NPL continued to focus on improving the technical development for elite players.

“(PS4 NPL) is the engine room of Australian football, producing players and coaches who can aim for the Hyundai A-League and our national teams,” Gallop said.

“At the same time, the NPL framework has helped strengthen the clubs by providing guidelines on management and finances.

“The introduction of the Westfield FFA Cup last year adds further impetus to the value of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues...it is certain to further improve the already impressive standard of football at this level and increase its popularity and interest in the season ahead.

“With six of nine Australian based Hyundai A-League clubs now having teams in their respective Member Federation competitions, it is another important step in nurturing young talent in order to produce and uncover the stars of the future.”

Tonight’s PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2015 season opener between Croydon Kings and MetroStars SC kicks off at 7pm ACDT.

Football Federation Northern Territory, who adopts a partial model, is the only Member Federation not currently sitting under the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues umbrella.

The opening round of matches in the other PlayStation 4 NPL competitions around the country will start on the following dates:

19 Feb – Football Federation Victoria

28 Feb – Football Queensland

14 Mar – Football NSW

21 Mar – Football Federation Tasmania

28 Mar – Football West

10 Apr – Northern NSW Football

11/12 Apr – Capital Football

These competitions will culminate in the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2015 Finals Series to determine the national champions.

The PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2015 Finals Series:

Elimination Finals          19/20 September 2015

Semi Finals                   26/27 September 2015

Grand Final                   3/4 October 2015