Three clubs combining at elite youth level

A second joint-venture is set to enter the Dunedin football scene.

Green Island, Mosgiel and Roslyn Wakari will combine to form Dunedin Suburbs United at the elite youth level this season, the clubs confirmed in a statement.

That may extend to the senior clubs next year, in which a Dunedin Suburbs team would potentially play in the South Island League.

It comes as a result of the New Zealand Football’s competition structure, which returns the national league to a club-based structure.

Teams will qualify for the national league through regional leagues, notably a fully-fledged South Island league which is set to begin next year.

The move follows that of Caversham, Dunedin Technical, Melchester and Hereweka, which combined to form the South City Royals.

This year the ‘‘hub’’ would extend only to the Football South Youth Development League teams, at both the under-14 and under-16 age groups.

These leagues aim to provide a high-level competition for the region’s best young players.

They also come with requirements clubs must meet such as coaching qualifications, player-load management plans and gameday standards.

In all other leagues the clubs will remain separate entities and the statement said the move to a hub was not a merger.

The clubs said the concept would allow their top players to continue playing at the highest level, while minimising financial risk.

The premier teams will continue to operate as separate entities this season.

However, the clubs were discussing the potential to extend the relationship to that top level.

That would need approval from both Football South and New Zealand Football.

Players would be able to have dual registration with their club and Dunedin Suburbs.

If that were to go through it would leave Northern, Otago University, Queenstown and Wanaka as the only remaining Premier League clubs, alongside the two hub clubs.

It is a move being seen around the country, as clubs look to pool resources to compete under the new format.

Several big clubs in Auckland have been among the most notable to combine.

For example, Three Kings United and Onehunga Sports have formed Auckland United.

The new competition format will begin this year, with a transition season set to take place in the South.

The Football South Premier League will be played over two rounds as normal and the top three teams will qualify for a South Island league.

Those three teams will play a single-round in a league which will also include the top five Mainland teams.

The top two teams from that league will advance to the national league to play four teams from a northern league, three from a central league and the Wellington Phoenix Reserves.

Next year the South Island league will begin as a fully-fledged league with teams set, a double-round and potential promotion-relegation.

Comments

sad day for football in the south and I give this new format a few years and it won't work - like the last time they tried it in the early 90s.

Under the new dumb format, the Dunedin clubs can merge all they like, they still not gonna beat the Chch clubs which are yet to merge.

Under the previous system, it didn't matter what club you played for, any player could get into Southern United if selected.

 

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