Split down the middle

Dandenong City's next goal will be success in the revised NPL1 structure, with the Endeavour Hills-based team allocated to NPL1 East in 2015. 123399 Picture: JARROD POTTER

EASTWARD bound go Dandenong City and Springvale White Eagles as Football Federation Victoria (FFV) announce a geographic split for the National Premier Leagues (NPL) Victoria 1 competition in 2015.
With the introduction of Murray United, Nunawading City, Eastern Lions, Moreland City, Melbourne Victory Youth and Melbourne City Youth to the NPL 1 competition, the 20-team NPL 1 has been split into two geographical conferences – East and West.
Dandenong City and Springvale White Eagles will be in the 10-team East conference with both conferences comprising two regional teams, one National Youth League team, and one 2014 State League 1 champion.
The top six NPL teams at the conclusion of the home-and-away season will play a finals’ series commencing 22 August.
The top team of each NPL 1 conference will contend the NPL 1 Grand Final on September 20, with the runner-up of each NPL 1 conference to play off for the chance to come up against the 12th-placed NPL team for a spot in the NPL 2016.
Round 1 of the NPL and NPL 1 2015 senior leagues will begin on the weekend of 21-22 February while the junior NPL leagues – also split into two geographical conferences which will see all teams play at least 30 matches throughout the season – will commence on March 15 (Eastern conference) and March 22 (Western conference).
FFV’S Head of NPL and Women’s Premier League Liam Bentley explained the reasons behind the new structures as necessary to even out the leagues in regards to strength, travel distance and creating some balance.
“We believe this structure (NPL 1) will provide the most geographically local leagues within reason, as well as an even balance of competition,” Bentley said.
NPL: Avondale Heights (promoted), Bentleigh Greens, Dandenong Thunder, Green Gully, Heidelberg United, Hume City, Melbourne Knights, North Geelong Warriors (promoted), Northcote City, Oakleigh Cannons, Pascoe Vale, Port Melbourne Sharks, South Melbourne,
Werribee City.
NPL 1 East: Box Hill United, Dandenong City, Eastern Lions (new), Goulburn Valley Suns (relegated from NPL), Kingston City, Melbourne Victory Youth (new), Murray United (new), Nunawading City (new), Richmond, Springvale White Eagles.
PS4 NPL Juniors East: Bentleigh Greens, Box Hill United, Dandenong City, Dandenong Thunder, Eastern Lions, Goulburn Valley Suns, Heidelberg United, Kingston City, Murray United, FC Bulleen Lions, Victorian National Training Centre, Nunawading City, Oakleigh Cannons, Port Melbourne Sharks, Richmond, South Melbourne, Springvale White Eagles.