National Premier Leagues Victoria

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National Premier Leagues Victoria
NPL Victoria logo.png
Organising bodyFootball Victoria
Founded1908
First season2014 (as NPL Victoria)
CountryAustralia
State Victoria
Number of teams14
Level on pyramid2
Relegation toVictorian Premier League
Domestic cup(s)FFA Cup
Dockerty Cup
FV Community Shield
Current championsBentleigh Greens (2019)
Current premiersHeidelberg United (2019)
Most championshipsSouth Melbourne (10 titles)
TV partnersFacebook Live
YouTube
WebsiteNPL Victoria
2019 season

The National Premier Leagues Victoria, commonly known as NPL Victoria, is a semi-professional soccer league in Victoria, Australia. As a subdivision of the nationwide NPL, the league is the highest level within the Victorian soccer league system, serving jointly as the second tier within the overall Australian pyramid.

Administered by Football Victoria, NPL Victoria is the latest iteration of first division competitions in the state. Historically known as the Victorian State League and later as the Victorian Premier League, the league was first founded in 1908. It adopted its current branding in 2014, following Football Federation Australia's 2012 National Competition Review.

NPL Victoria is contested by 14 clubs. Running from February to September each year, the league sees teams play 26 regular season fixtures, once at home and once away against each other club; the first-placed team at the conclusion of the regular season is termed the "premier". The top six-placed clubs then play a knock-out finals series, with the winner becoming the "champion"; the bottom-placed teams operate a system of promotion and relegation with the division below, NPL 2.

The league premier qualifies as Victoria's representative in the national finals series, whilst the champion plays against the Dockerty Cup winner in the FV Community Shield.

History[edit]

Victorian Premier League logo.

The league commenced in 1909 with Carlton United being the first champions, it has run continuously except for a three season postponement from 1916 to 1918 owing to World War I. After 1945 the league, like fellow state competitions around the country, received a massive boost in numbers and quality with the post-war influx of European migrants, whose dominance was established so effectively that no club which had won the title before 1952, Juventus' first title, has won one since.

Juventus would go on to dominate the league in the 1950s, winning six titles, including five in a row from 1952 to 1956. In 1958, after the Victorian Amateur Soccer Federation was formed, the league became known as the Victorian State League. From 1962 until 1976 the league was largely dominated by South Melbourne Hellas and Footscray JUST, which won 11 titles between them.

With creation of the National Soccer League (NSL) in 1977, the league gradually lost most of its stronger clubs, a trend that reached its peak between 1984 and 1986, when the NSL used a split conference system. After 1987, however, the league slowly started regaining clubs, firstly those discarded when the conference system experiment was abandoned and later when clubs became permanently relegated by the NSL to their respective state leagues; the dominant side during the years from 1977 to 2004 was Green Gully, who won six titles during this period, despite also missing the years 1984–1986 from being in the NSL.

In 1991 the league rebranded again to become the Victorian Premier League and the first finals to determine the champions were staged in 1992, won by the newly promoted North Geelong. Following the demise of the NSL in 2004, the remaining two Victorian NSL teams Melbourne Knights and South Melbourne were granted permission to play in the VPL season of 2005; the league received a major boost at the start of the 2005 season when Vodafone became major naming rights sponsors, with the competition being renamed the Vodafone Cup. The 2005 season initially saw crowds attending in record numbers to witness the return of old derbies such as that between South Melbourne and Heidelberg United, but with the formation of the A-League filling the void of a national domestic league, 2006 saw a sharp decline in attendances.

The end of the 2006 season also witnessed a controversial finish to the relegation battle. With three teams finishing on 30 points, Sunshine George Cross were relegated on goal difference. However, a post-season appeal to the tribunal on the grounds that Essendon Royals had fielded a suspended player (Ilcho Mladenovski in round 24) saw the Royals deducted a point and relegated. Ultimately, both clubs reprised their position in the following season's competition with the inclusion of the Australian Institute of Sport evening out the numbers to 16, and as the first part of reforms to the competition set to be brought about in 2008.

The Australian Institute of Sport experiment was largely derided by the local clubs, and after their removal from the competition in 2008, the league reverted to 12 teams and a Top 5 Finals-Series in 2009. However, the concept of a youth development squad was reintroduced in 2010 with the National Training Centre team playing in midweek fixtures throughout the season but not for competition points. In 2011 the team, mostly comprising players from the Melbourne Victory youth squad, was renamed Victorian Training Centre Football and was eligible to score competition points for its matches but ineligible to qualify for the finals series or be relegated.

On 15 September 2013, Victoria Police arrested up to ten people, including Southern Stars FC players David Obaze, Nicholas McKoy and Joe Woolley as well as the coach, Zaya Younan, for allegations of match fixing, they are expected to be charged with corrupting the outcome of betting.[1]

In early 2013, it was announced that Victoria would join the National Premier Leagues, with the Victorian Premier League expected to be rebranded for the 2014 season.[2][3] Although Football Federation Victoria's initial proposal was halted with the announcement of a deferral in November 2013 after several clubs objected to the process for selecting team. However, by December 2013, a resolution was reached whereby Victorian teams would participate in the 2014 season.[4][5]

Competition format[edit]

NPL Victoria comprises 14 teams; the season is staged during the Australian winter, running from February to September. The league combines aspects of both the traditional European-style round-robin and Australian-style finals series within its competition format.

Regular season[edit]

The regular season consists of a double round-robin; each club plays every other club twice, once at home and once away, for a total of 26 matches. Teams receive three points for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a loss; the clubs are ranked first based on the number of points acquired during the season. If two teams have an equal number of points, they are separated firstly by goal difference and then the number of goals scored, calculated across all matches; the Rules of Competition provide head-to-head aggregate and head-to-head away goals as further tiebreakers if necessary.[6] The team ranked first at the end of the regular season is termed the premiers, and becomes Victoria's entry for the national NPL finals.

Finals series[edit]

At the conclusion of the regular season, the six highest-ranked clubs qualify for the (Victorian) finals series; the finals take place over three weeks, with teams entering the series based on their respective finishes in the regular season. The teams ranked 3–6 enter at the elimination finals stage; the third-ranked team plays the sixth-ranked team, whilst the fourth-ranked team plays the fifth-ranked one. The two winners of the elimination finals meet the teams ranked 1 and 2 in the semi-finals; the premier in the regular season plays the lower-ranked qualifier from the elimination finals, whilst the runner-up plays the higher-ranked qualifier. The finals conclude with the grand final, played between the two winners of the semi-finals; the winner of the grand final is crowned the champions. As all finals matches require a winner, they are all knock-out fixtures. If a draw occurs at the end of normal time, 30 minutes of extra time are played. A penalty shoot-out is played if the teams are still drawn.

Promotion and relegation[edit]

NPL Victoria also operates a system of promotion and relegation with the division immediately below it, NPL 2; the 13th and 14th-ranked clubs are automatically relegated. From NPL 2, the winners of each of the conferences, East and West, are automatically promoted to replaced the two lowest-ranked NPL clubs; the 12th-ranked NPL club also participates in a single-leg promotion/relegation play-off against an NPL 2 team, with the winner competing in the following year's NPL. The NPL 2 representative in the promotion/relegation play-off is determined by an earlier play-off between the runners-up of the two respective conferences.

Current clubs[edit]

Club Location Home ground Capacity
Avondale FC Parkville Avenger Park 2,000
Altona Magic Altona North Paisley Park Soccer Complex 5,000
Bentleigh Greens Cheltenham Kingston Heath Soccer Complex 5,000[7][8]
Dandenong City Endeavour Hills Frank Holohan Soccer Complex 1,000
Dandenong Thunder Dandenong South George Andrews Reserve 5,000
Green Gully Keilor Downs Green Gully Reserve 10,000
Heidelberg United Heidelberg West Olympic Park 12,000
Hume City Broadmeadows ABD Stadium 5,000
Kingston City Clayton South The Grange Reserve 2,000
Melbourne Knights Sunshine North Knights Stadium 15,000
Oakleigh Cannons Oakleigh Jack Edwards Reserve 5,000
Pascoe Vale Fawkner CB Smith Reserve 2,000
Port Melbourne Port Melbourne SS Anderson Reserve 1,000
South Melbourne Albert Park Lakeside Stadium 12,000

Honours NPL[edit]

Year Premiership Champions NPL Finals Representation
2014 South Melbourne South Melbourne – Semi Finalist
2015 South Melbourne Bentleigh Greens South Melbourne – Quarter Finalist
2016 Bentleigh Greens South Melbourne Bentleigh Greens – Quarter Finalist
2017 Heidelberg United Bentleigh Greens Heidelberg UnitedChampions
2018 Heidelberg United Heidelberg United Heidelberg United – Semi Finalist
2019 Heidelberg United Bentleigh Greens Heidelberg United – Quarter Finalist

Honours all-time[edit]

Season Champions Runners-up Minor Premiers Runners-up
1909 Carlton United St Kilda Finals not held
1910 Carlton United St Kilda Finals not held
1911 Williamstown Carlton United Finals not held
1912 Williamstown Burns Finals not held
1913 Yarraville (formerly Williamstown) Burns Finals not held
1914 Melbourne Thistle Birmingham Victoria Finals not held
1915 Melbourne Thistle Albert Park Section A – Albert Park, Section B – Melbourne Thistle Section A – Northumberland & Durham United, Section B – St Kilda
1916–1918 League cancelled due to World War I
1919 Northumberland & Durham United Footscray Thistle Finals not held
1920 Northumberland & Durham United St Kilda Section A – St Kilda, Section B – Melbourne Thistle Section A – Northumberland & Durham United, Section B – Spotswood
1921 Windsor Northumberland & Durham United Finals not held
1922 Northumberland & Durham United Northcote Finals not held
1923 St Kilda Footscray Thistle St Kilda Footscray Thistle
1924 Footscray Thistle St Kilda Finals not held
1925 Melbourne Thistle Footscray Thistle Finals not held
1926 Footscray Thistle Preston Finals not held
1927 Prahran City Footscray Thistle Finals not held
1928 Naval Depot Footscray Thistle Southern Section – Naval Depot, Northern Section – Footscray Thistle Southern Section – South Melbourne, Northern Section – Preston
1929 Footscray Thistle Naval Depot Finals not held
1930 Footscray Thistle Caledonians Finals not held
1931 Brunswick Caledonians Finals not held
1932 Footscray Thistle Royal Caledonians Finals not held
1933 Royal Caledonians South Yarra Finals not held
1934 Hakoah Royal Caledonians Finals not held
1935 Hakoah Royal Caledonians Finals not held
1936 Moreland City Caledonians Finals not held
1937 Moreland City Prahran City Finals not held
1938 Hakoah Northumberland & Durham United Finals not held
1939 Prahran City Nobels Finals not held
1940 Nobels South Melbourne United Finals not held
1941 Moreland City Prahran City Finals not held
1942 Prahran City Moreland Hakoah Finals not held
1943 Moreland Hakoah Prahran City Finals not held
1944 Prahran City Brighton Finals not held
1945 Prahran City Brighton Finals not held
1946 Moreland City Prahran City Finals not held
1947 Sunshine United Moreland City Section A – Moreland City, Section B – Sunshine United Section A – Park Rangers, Section B – Prahran City
1948 Box Hill United Sunshine United Finals not held
1949 Brighton Park Rangers Finals not held
1950 Sunshine United Box Hill United Finals not held
1951 Yallourn Sunshine United Finals not held
1952 Brunswick Juventus Brighton Finals not held
1953 Brunswick Juventus Hakoah Finals not held
1954 Brunswick Juventus Hakoah Finals not held
1955 Brunswick Juventus Western Eagles Finals not held
1956 Brunswick Juventus Hakoah Finals not held
1957 Footscray JUST Moreland City Finals not held
From 1958 the league was renamed State League from the previous Division One. A State League Cup was introduced as a Top 4 Finals series, which however did not determine the Champion of the season. Between 1962 and 1968 the top 4 teams qualified for the Australia Cup.
Season Champions Runners-up State League Cup Top 4 Series Champions State League Cup Runners-up
1958 Brunswick Juventus Ringwood City Brunswick Juventus Ringwood City
1959 Ringwood City Caroline Springs George Cross Caroline Springs George Cross Ringwood City
1960 Western Eagles Caroline Springs George Cross Western Eagles Caroline Springs George Cross
1961 Western Eagles Caroline Springs George Cross Ringwood City Caroline Springs George Cross
1962 South Melbourne Brunswick Juventus Finals not held
1963 Footscray JUST Western Eagles Finals not held
1964 South Melbourne Caroline Springs George Cross Finals not held
1965 South Melbourne Caroline Springs George Cross Finals not held
1966 South Melbourne Prahran Slavia Finals not held
1967 Melbourne Hungaria Brunswick Juventus Finals not held
1968 Melbourne Knights Western Eagles Finals not held
1969 Footscray JUST Brunswick Juventus Brunswick Juventus Footscray JUST
1970 Brunswick Juventus Melbourne Hungaria Brunswick Juventus Melbourne Hungaria
1971 Footscray JUST South Melbourne Melbourne Knights South Melbourne
1972 South Melbourne Caroline Springs George Cross Finals not held
1973 Footscray JUST Caroline Springs George Cross Caroline Springs George Cross Hakoah
1974 South Melbourne Caroline Springs George Cross Footscray JUST Fitzroy United
1975 Fitzroy United South Melbourne Footscray JUST Mooroolbark
1976 South Melbourne Footscray JUST Footscray JUST South Melbourne
1977 Caroline Springs George Cross Prahran Slavia Caroline Springs George Cross Prahran Slavia
1978 Melbourne Knights Preston Lions Melbourne Knights Caroline Springs George Cross
1979 Melbourne Knights Frankston City Melbourne Knights Preston Lions
1980 Preston Lions Melbourne Knights Melbourne Knights Preston Lions
1981 Green Gully Melbourne Knights Melbourne Knights Doveton
1982 Green Gully Melbourne Knights Green Gully Morwell Falcons
1983 Green Gully Melbourne Knights Melbourne Knights Green Gully
1984 Morwell Falcons Western Eagles Morwell Falcons Western Eagles
1985 Croydon City Morwell Falcons Box Hill United Morwell Falcons
1986 Croydon City Frankston Pines Croydon City Frankston Pines
1987 Western Eagles Green Gully Green Gully Western Eagles
1988 Heidelberg United Croydon City Croydon City Green Gully
1989 Morwell Falcons Brunswick Juventus Morwell Falcons St Albans Saints
1990 Heidelberg United Brunswick Juventus Finals not held
1991 Brunswick Juventus Bulleen Lions Finals not held
From 1992 the league was renamed the Victorian Premier League and Finals were introduced to determine the Champions.
Season Champions Runners-up Minor Premiers League runners-up
1992 North Geelong Warriors Brunswick Juventus North Geelong Warriors Bulleen Lions
1993 Bulleen Lions Manningham United Bulleen Lions Manningham United
1994 Preston Lions Port Melbourne Sharks Preston Lions Bulleen Lions
1995 Altona Magic Bulleen Lions Port Melbourne Sharks Altona Magic
1996 Altona Magic Heidelberg United Altona Magic Heidelberg United
1997 Altona Magic Bulleen Zebras Altona Magic Bentleigh Greens
1998 Bulleen Zebras St Albans Saints St Albans Saints Altona Magic
1999 Green Gully Port Melbourne Sharks Finals not held
2000 Green Gully Bentleigh Greens Finals not held
2001 Heidelberg United Port Melbourne Sharks Port Melbourne Sharks Heidelberg United
2002 Preston Lions Manningham United Manningham United Green Gully
2003 Green Gully Frankston Pines Preston Lions Green Gully
2004 Bulleen Zebras Altona Magic Green Gully Oakleigh Cannons
2005 Green Gully Heidelberg United Green Gully Heidelberg United
2006 South Melbourne Altona Magic Oakleigh Cannons Altona Magic
2007 Preston Lions Moreland Zebras Preston Lions Melbourne Knights
2008 Altona Magic Melbourne Knights Green Gully Melbourne Knights
2009 Altona Magic Dandenong Thunder Dandenong Thunder Altona Magic
2010 Green Gully Richmond Richmond Hume City
2011 Green Gully Oakleigh Cannons Green Gully Oakleigh Cannons
2012 Dandenong Thunder Oakleigh Cannons Dandenong Thunder Oakleigh Cannons
2013 Northcote City Bentleigh Greens Northcote City Melbourne Knights
From 2014 the league was renamed the National Premier League.
2014 South Melbourne Oakleigh Cannons Finals not held
2015 Bentleigh Greens South Melbourne South Melbourne Bentleigh Greens
2016 South Melbourne Oakleigh Cannons Bentleigh Greens Heidelberg United
2017 Bentleigh Greens Heidelberg United Heidelberg United South Melbourne
2018 Heidelberg United Avondale FC Heidelberg United Bentleigh Greens
2019 Bentleigh Greens Avondale FC Heidelberg United Avondale FC

Honours table[edit]

Champions Minor-Premiers State League Cup Dockerty Cup
Club Winners Runners-up Winners Runners-up Winners Runners-up Winners Runners-up Total
South Melbourne 10 3 1 1 0 2 8 4 29
Green Gully 9 1 4 2 2 2 5 1 26
Brunswick Juventus 8 6 0 0 3 0 6 7 30
Footscray Thistle 5 5 1 1 0 0 5 2 19
Prahran 5 4 0 1 0 0 2 4 16
Altona Magic 5 2 2 4 0 0 0 2 15
Footscray JUST 5 1 0 0 3 1 3 2 15
Hakoah 4 4 0 0 0 1 8 7 24
Heidelberg United 4 3 3 4 0 1 1 3 19
Moreland City 4 2 1 0 0 0 4 1 12
Preston Lions 4 1 3 0 0 2 1 2 13
Melbourne Knights 3 5 0 3 6 0 9 6 32
Western Eagles 3 4 0 0 1 2 1 4 15
Northumberland & Durham United 3 1 0 2 0 0 3 0 9
Melbourne Thistle 3 0 2 0 0 0 3 1 9
Williamstown/Yarraville 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 6
Bentleigh Greens 3 2 1 3 0 0 2 1 12
Sunshine United 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 5
Bulleen Zebras/Moreland Zebras 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
Morwell Falcons 2 1 0 0 2 2 1 0 8
Croydon City 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 5
Carlton United 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 5
Caroline Springs George Cross 1 8 0 0 3 3 3 3 21
St Kilda 1 4 2 1 0 0 2 5 15
Brighton 1 3 0 0 0 0 5 3 12
Royal Caledonians 1 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 8
Bulleen Lions 1 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 6
Dandenong Thunder 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 6
Naval Depot 1 1 1 0 0 0 3 1 7
Ringwood City 1 1 0 0 1 2 1 2 8
Box Hill United 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 3 6
Melbourne Hungaria 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 3
Northcote City 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3
North Geelong Warriors 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
Nobels 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 5
Windsor 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3
Yallourn 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Oakleigh Cannons 0 4 1 3 0 0 0 1 9
Port Melbourne Sharks 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 1 6
Manningham United 0 2 1 1 0 0 1 1 6
Avondale 0 2 1 0 3
St Albans Saints 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 3
Albert Park 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 1 5
Prahran Slavia 0 2 0 0 0 1 3 1 7
South Yarra 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 5
Wonthaggi Magpies 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3

Former Clubs (1963 onwards)[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Age newspaper
  2. ^ "Gallop aims for Aussie FA Cup". The Australian. Australian Associated Press. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Second Division 'By 2022'?". Australian FourFourTwo. Sportal Australia. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  4. ^ "NPL update – message from FFV Board". Football Federation Victoria. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ https://www.footballvictoria.com.au/sites/ffv/files/2019-02/2019%20Rules%20of%20Competitions%20Mens%20%20Boys%20final.pdf
  7. ^ "Kingston Heath Soccer Complex". Austadiums. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  8. ^ "KINGSTON HEATH SOCCER COMPLEX". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 February 2016.

External links[edit]