National Premier Leagues

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National Premier Leagues
National Premier Leagues logo.png
Northern NSW
South Australia
Western Australia
Number of teams94 clubs (from 8 divisions)
Level on pyramid2
Domestic cup(s)FFA Cup
Current championsCampbelltown City (2018)
Most championshipsSydney United 58 (2 titles)
2019 National Premier Leagues

The National Premier Leagues (NPL) is a national association football competition in Australia which acts as the second tier of the sport in the country below the A-League. The NPL consists of the highest level state league in each state-based federation within Australia. In total the NPL is contested by clubs from eight divisions; these are ACT, NSW, Northern NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia; the NPL is overseen by Football Federation Australia (FFA), in partnership with participating state-based member federations. Since 2014 it has been sponsored by PlayStation 4 and thus officially known as the PS4 National Premier Leagues.[1]


In October 2010, Football Federation Australia (FFA) commenced a National Competition Review, its main objective being to review the current structure of soccer competitions in Australia, and to monitor and improve elite player development.[2] By May 2012 the results of the National Competition Review were released. In it, a proposal to re-brand and revitalise state-based competitions in Australia.[3]

On 13 February 2013, the establishment of the National Premier Leagues was announced; as a direct outcome of the National Competition Review, the league would rebrand the premier league in each state under a single banner.[4] Originally named Australian Premier League but due to a violation of naming rights held by Lawn Bowls Australia the original name was scrapped and replaced with National Premier Leagues.[5] FFA also announced their intentions of a promotion and relegation structure between the first tier A-League and second tier National Premier League from 2022.[6]

The inaugural season of the NPL began in March 2013, it included teams from five of the nine state-based federations: Football Queensland, Football NSW, Football Federation South Australia, Football Federation Tasmania, and Capital Football.[4] The FFA member federations that did not join the NPL in 2013, Football West, Northern New South Wales Football and Football Federation Victoria joined in the 2014 season, with Football Federation Northern Territory expected to adopt a partial model at some time in the future.[7][8] Although Victoria initially announced their teams would enter in 2014, a deferral was later announced in November 2013, after several clubs objected to the process for selecting teams. However, by December 2013, a resolution was reached whereby Victorian teams participated in the 2014 season.[9][10]

Competition format[edit]

The NPL competitions in each state and territory are run by the member federation, with a national playoff tournament at the end of each season;[4] each member federation, or 'conference' contains various numbers of teams, and they play a full season with no inter-conference matches (an identical format to the individual State Leagues that preceded the NPL). The winner of each division is determined by the club in first position of each conference table at the end of the regular season and not the winner of the various state-based finals series.

NPL Finals Series[edit]

At the completion of the regular home and away season, the winners of each respective Federation league compete in a finals playoff tournament.

The finals are all single match knock out matches. Between 2013-2015 the match ups were based on predetermined geographically adjacent Federations, with hosting rights for the quarter-finals alternating each year. From 2016 the match ups are determined by an open draw;[11] the hosts for the semi-finals and Grand Final are determined by a formula based on the time of winning of the previous NPL Finals matches (normal time, extra time or penalties), goals scored and allowed, and yellow/red cards.

The finals series culminates in a Grand Final, where the winner is crowned National Premier Leagues Champions.[12] Since the 2014 season, the NPL Champion has also qualified for the following years' FFA Cup round of 32.

Promotion and relegation[edit]

Depending on the State Federation in charge, teams may be relegated from the NPL to a third-tier league in the same state (and vice versa), but there is currently no way for a team to be promoted to the first tier of Australian Football, the A-League; the number of teams promoted and relegated from third-tier leagues per state has varied over the existence of the NPL. The table below details the number of teams relegated automatically from the NPL at the end of the season and the number of NPL teams which go into a relegation playoff against a lower league team (subject to those lower league teams meeting additional eligibility criteria to be able to be promoted to the NPL).

Federation Number of Clubs
ACT none
NSW 1 0
Northern NSW 1 0
Queensland 2 0
SA 1 1
Tasmania none
Victoria 2 1
WA 1 (a)
  • Note (a): Western Australian system subject to teams from the State League Division 1 meeting additional eligibility criteria to be able to be promoted to the NPL. [13]

Current clubs (2019)[edit]

A diagram showing the state member federations of FFA.
National Premier Leagues is located in Australia
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Map showing the location of teams in the National Premier Leagues.

Below are listed the National Premier Leagues clubs in each respective state member federation from the 2019 season.

In total, there are 95 clubs that compete in the top tier of the National Premier Leagues each season. Most NPL divisions involve promotion and relegation to leagues below the NPL and so participating clubs change annually.

Belconnen United
Canberra Olympic
Cooma FC
Gungahlin United
Monaro Panthers
Riverina Rhinos
Tuggeranong United
APIA Leichhardt Tigers
Blacktown City
Hakoah Sydney City East
Manly United
Marconi Stallions FC
Mt Druitt Town Rangers
Rockdale City Suns
Sutherland Sharks
Sydney FC Youth
Sydney Olympic
Sydney United 58
Wollongong Wolves
Northern NSW
Adamstown Rosebud
Broadmeadow Magic
Charlestown City Blues
Edgeworth Eagles
Hamilton Olympic
Lake Macquarie City
Lambton Jaffas
Newcastle Jets Youth
Weston Workers
Brisbane City
Brisbane Roar Youth
Brisbane Strikers
Eastern Suburbs FC
Gold Coast Knights SC
Gold Coast United FC
Lions FC
Magpies Crusaders United
Moreton Bay United
Peninsula Power FC
Redlands United
South West Queensland
Sunshine Coast
Western Pride
South Australia
Adelaide Blue Eagles
Adelaide City
Adelaide Comets
Adelaide Olympic
Adelaide Raiders
Adelaide United Youth
Campbelltown City
Croydon Kings
North Eastern MetroStars
Para Hills Knights
South Adelaide Panthers
West Adelaide
Clarence United
Devonport City
Glenorchy Knights
Hobart Zebras
Kingborough Lions United
Launceston City
Northern Rangers
Riverside Olympic
South Hobart
Altona Magic
Avondale FC
Bentleigh Greens
Dandenong City
Dandenong Thunder
Green Gully
Heidelberg United
Hume City
Kingston City
Melbourne Knights
Oakleigh Cannons
Pascoe Vale
Port Melbourne
South Melbourne
Western Australia
Bayswater City
Cockburn City
ECU Joondalup
Floreat Athena
Inglewood United
Perth Glory Youth
Rockingham City
Stirling Lions


NPL Finals[edit]

Season Champions Score Runners-up Venue Crowd Result in following FFA Cup
2013 Sydney United 58 2–0 South Hobart KGV Park 1,150 Eliminated in the Round of 161
2014 North Eastern MetroStars 1–0 Bonnyrigg White Eagles Lambert Park - Eliminated in the Round of 16
2015 Blacktown City 3–1 Bayswater City Dorrien Gardens - Eliminated in the Quarter-finals
2016 Sydney United 58 4–1 Edgeworth FC Sydney United Sports Centre - Eliminated in the Round of 16
2017 Heidelberg United 2–0 Brisbane Strikers Perry Park 1,105 Eliminated in the Quarter-finals
2018 Campbelltown City 2–1 Lions FC Steve Woodcock Sports Centre 1,518 TBD

1 For the 2014 FFA Cup, Sydney United 58 were not given an automatic FFA Cup berth, however they qualified via the FFA Cup qualifying rounds.

Clubs reaching the finals[edit]

Team Champions Runners-up Semi-finalist Quarter-finalist Finals
New South Wales Sydney United 58 2 (2013, 2016) 2
South Australia Campbelltown City 1 (2018) 1 (2013) 2
Victoria (Australia) Heidelberg United 1 (2017) 1 (2018) 2
New South Wales Blacktown City 1 (2015) 1
South Australia North Eastern MetroStars 1 (2014) 1
New South Wales Edgeworth 1 (2016) 1 (2017) 2 (2015, 2018) 4
Queensland Brisbane Strikers 1 (2017) 1 (2016) 2
Western Australia Bayswater City 1 (2015) 2 (2014, 2017) 3
Tasmania South Hobart 1 (2013) 2 (2014, 2017) 3
New South Wales Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1 (2014) 1
Queensland Lions FC 1 (2018) 1
Victoria (Australia) South Melbourne 1 (2014) 1 (2015) 2
Western Australia Perth SC 1 (2016) 1 (2018) 2
South Australia APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1 (2017) 1
Queensland Moreton Bay United 1 (2015) 1
Tasmania Olympia 1 (2015) 1
Queensland Olympic 1 (2013) 1
Queensland Palm Beach 1 (2014) 1
New South Wales Sydney Olympic 1 (2018) 1
Australian Capital Territory Canberra 3 (2013, 2015, 2018) 3
South Australia Adelaide City 2 (2016, 2017) 2
Australian Capital Territory Canberra Olympic 2 (2016, 2017) 2
Tasmania Devonport City 2 (2016, 2018) 2
Victoria (Australia) Bentleigh Greens 1 (2016) 1
Australian Capital Territory Cooma 1 (2014) 1
South Australia West Adelaide 1 (2015) 1
New South Wales Weston Workers 1 (2014) 1

Federation Finalists by season[edit]

Season ACT New South Wales Northern NSW Queensland South Australia Tasmania Victoria Western Australia
2013 Canberra Sydney United 58 1 Olympic Campbelltown City 2 South Hobart 1 1
2014 Cooma Bonnyrigg White Eagles Weston Workers 3 Palm Beach North Eastern MetroStars South Hobart South Melbourne Bayswater City
2015 Canberra Blacktown City Edgeworth Moreton Bay United West Adelaide Olympia Warriors South Melbourne Bayswater City
2016 Canberra Olympic Sydney United 58 Edgeworth Brisbane Strikers Adelaide City Devonport City Bentleigh Greens Perth
2017 Canberra Olympic APIA Leichhardt Tigers Edgeworth Brisbane Strikers Adelaide City South Hobart Heidelberg United Bayswater City
2018 Canberra Sydney Olympic Edgeworth Lions FC Campbelltown City Devonport City Heidelberg United Perth


  • 1 Northern NSW, Victoria and Western Australia were not part of the inaugural NPL finals series.
  • 2 North Eastern MetroStars won its league season, but did not proceed to the NPL Finals series (that year's Champion qualified instead).
  • 3 Newcastle Jets Youth team won its league season, but were ineligible for the NPL Finals series (the runner-up qualified instead).

Number of Titles by Federation[edit]

Federation Number of titles Clubs
Football NSW
Sydney United 58 (2), Blacktown City
Football Federation South Australia
North Eastern MetroStars, Campbelltown City
Football Federation Victoria
Heidelberg United

Individual honours[edit]

The John Kosmina Medal is presented to the best played in the NPL final and is named in honour of former Australian international John Kosmina.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PS4 new NPL naming rights partner". Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  2. ^ Siokos, Anthony (28 May 2012). "Analysis: Review gives FFA clear signal of how they must spread the love". Sport Business Insider. Sports Business Insider Group. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  3. ^ "FFA releases outcomes of National Competitions Review". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "FFA launches National Premier Leagues". Football Federation Australia. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Wolves could move into A-League under new changes". Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Australian Premier League Announced". Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Gallop aims for Aussie FA Cup". The Australian. AAP. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Second Division 'By 2022'?". Australian FourFourTwo. Sportal Australia. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  9. ^ "NPL update - message from FFV Board". Football Federation Victoria. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  10. ^ "National Premier Leagues confirmed for Victoria in 2014". Football Federation Australia. 6 December 2013. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  11. ^ "Matchups for 2016 Finals Series take shape". Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  12. ^ "FFA unveils National Premier Leagues". Australian FourFourTwo. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  13. ^ "Competition Rules National Premier League WA" (PDF). Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  14. ^ John Kosmina. "The NPL demonstrates its true value". Football Federation Australia.

External links[edit]