Northern NSW Football (NNSWF), the peak body charged by Football Federation Australia (FFA) to oversee the administration, growth and development of the region’s largest sport has today responded to concerns raised by “Northern” clubs affiliated to Northern Inland Football (NIF).
NNSWF’s response outlines significant changes to the management and implementation of senior men’s competitions in the Region’s North.
NNSWF CEO, David Eland noted “Northern Inland Football (NIF) advised NNSWF in early February that a number of clubs in Armidale were discontent and deep in discussions with the University of New England (UNE) about running unaffiliated competitions for local clubs.”
NNSWF responded immediately by convening a forum in Armidale on 11 February, which was attended by 11 clubs from Armidale and surrounding towns.
“The clubs were justifiably concerned about the lack of consultation which underpinned the new senior competition structure for 2020. Communication with NIF and inconsistent application of disciplinary regulations were high of the clubs’ agenda.
“The forum was very constructive, and the clubs agreed to provide NNSWF with seven (7 days) to provide an initial response and outline next steps. I reaffirmed NNSWF’s commitment to whatever we could do, to keep the game united in the Region,” said Eland
NNSWF’s initial response outlined the consultation process which would shape the revised competition structure as well as a communication protocol which outlined the parties’ obligations. It also confirmed changes that had already been implemented to Disciplinary Regulations in NIF’s Competition Rules.
“It was very disappointing ahead of the agreed release of NNSWF’s response that Demon Knights Football Club, South Armidale United FC, Armidale City Westside FC and Norths United FC informed us in their online survey of their intention to disaffiliate and enter competitions conducted by UNE.
“We can only assume that the clubs have consulted directly with their members about the ramifications of not being affiliated to NIF, NNSWF and the FFA.”
“We strongly encourage players, parents, volunteers and coaches of all Armidale-based clubs to contact their club’s Office Bearers to ensure their best interests are being considered.” Said Eland
Affiliation affords clubs access to a myriad of programs and services including a comprehensive suite of insurances which protect clubs through effective risk management.
Programs such as the National Club Development Program and NNSWF Facilities Fund aim to build sustainable clubs which are empowered to better serve their members and communities.
Players, coaches, volunteers and match officials are provided with the protection of sports injury protection and access to pathways and development opportunities which can culminate in National representation.
NNSWF has asked all clubs to confirm their affiliation and commitment to sanctioned competitions in 2020 by Wednesday 26 February.
NNSWF and NIF remain committed to implement sanctioned football activities for clubs and players in Armidale and surrounding towns.