Junior talent from Murray United will be tested against some of the state’s finest soccer prospects with the introduction of two Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City teams next season.
The Football Federation Victoria (FFV) decision allows Victoria’s two A-League clubs to join the junior NPL competition, in addition to their current NPL 2 senior and under 20 teams.
Murray United Technical Director Nick Mammone said the introduction of the clubs to the junior competition is a significant step towards the establishment of A-League academies in Victoria.
“Nationally, the responsibility for player development is being shifted to A-League clubs and NPL clubs with the aim of producing a larger pool of talented players,” Mammone said.
“Playing against the A-League clubs’ juniors will bring the most talented players to the Border and expose our clubs players, coaches and parents to the professionalism and standards that exists at these clubs.
“Having experienced this first hand when we played the Melbourne Victory junior academy, regular interaction with these clubs in the NPL junior competition is invaluable to educate our players in what it takes to get an opportunity with an A-League club.
“It will also provide greater opportunities for our youth development program to have players identified by either club as they increase their presence in the NPL junior competition and scout the state for the most talented juniors to join their academies, which we have already noticed at NPL fixtures this year.”