Northern NSW pulls Emerging Jets out of women’s league

“There’s a concern the WPL is currently not providing the girls with consistently challenging opportunities”: David Eland.THE Emerging Jets will not be part of an expanded Herald Women’s Premier League, but the Emerging Jets boys’ program will remain integrated in Northern NSW’s senior and youth National Premier Leagues in 2015.

Northern NSW Football chief executive David Eland said Emerging Jets academy director Gary van Egmond had recommended the teams be withdrawn from the WPL and management at the governing body was supporting the move.

It comes after the under-18 Emerging Jets girls defeated minor premiers Adamstown 5-2 in the WPL grand final and their under-15 side lost to Rosebud in the under-18 decider last month.

The results followed a regular season in which the Jets and Adamstown dominated oppositions.

“Obviously we have an obligation to provide the Emerging Jets girls with the most suitable competitive opportunities possible,” Eland said yesterday.

“And there’s a concern the WPL is currently not providing the girls with consistently challenging opportunities.”

He said NNSWF was “looking at a range of opportunities” for the Emerging Jets girls for next season, including matches against “appropriately aged boys teams”.

However, Eland said that would not involve participating in NPL Youth competitions, although he admitted that playing in Sydney leagues was an option under consideration.

The decision comes as part of an annual evaluation of the Emerging Jets program, which was formed and is managed under a three-way agreement between NNSWF, the Newcastle Jets and Football Federation Australia.

Emerging Jets boys teams will continue to compete in the NPL, but Eland said he had challenged van Egmond to find regular opportunities for matches against same-age elite teams from the Central Coast Mariners Academy and Football NSW’s institute program in Sydney.

Eland told the Herald that increasing the number of clubs in the WPL was part of NNSWF’s strategic plan for women’s football, and three new clubs had applied for inclusion in a likely seven-team competition for the 2015 season.

Warners Bay, Wallsend and South Wallsend are believed to be the clubs vying for the two positions.

Submissions are under review and recommendations will be made to the NNSWF board on October 11.

The board will also vote on recommendations on which two clubs will be added to the second-tier, first-division men’s competition.

Cooks Hill United, Morisset, Swansea, Wallsend and Kahibah are in the running for two positions in a new-look 10-team competition.