The Gippsland soccer plan

THE Gippsland Soccer League detailed its elite player pathway alternative to the National Premier League Victoria scheme in a meeting with central and south division clubs last Monday.

The league proposed a similar development structure to the NPLV model within the Gippsland region, which will include three emerging talent teams and an advanced program targeting the 17 to 20 year-old age group.

Pending the outcome of NPLV implementation, which is currently tied up in a legal dispute with a faction of renegade clubs unhappy with the proposed competition, the GSL will seek to insert its advanced team into the highest possible Melbourne-based competition, preferably State League Division One or equivalent.

The emerging talent sides, separated into three age categories, will act as feeders for the advanced program, which offers full, all-inclusive funding for its players.

“Not one player will be paying for anything in that; it’s an elite program, it’s a similar model to Gippsland Power and that will be fully funded,” GSL chairman David Wilson said.

“We’re starting to formalise getting our best coaches, that’s what we’ll start with, three for our emerging and one for our advanced program.”

Wilson said the GSL was not currently equipped to field a competitive franchise in the NPLV, but would build toward that standard in the coming years through the new program.

“Let’s put the fundamentals and the basics and the building blocks in place before we can jump to that level,” he said.