Soccer shake-up - Clubs in danger of missing new comp


A NEW men's Premier League soccer competition featuring teams from the Holiday Coast and Grafton was officially rubber-stamped on Monday night, but it could spell danger for up to three local clubs. The Holiday Coast Soccer Association (HCSA) and Clarence River Soccer Association (CRSA) Premier League competitions have been disbanded, replaced by an eight-team North Coast Premier League format. All clubs from both associations will be invited to apply for admission, with the six existing HCSA clubs, new Nambucca-Macksville entity Valley United and up to four CRSA clubs expected to put their hands up. However, even those of us who weren't paying attention in Year 3 maths will realise eleven into eight won't go. HCSA president Jim Graham yesterday hinted Woolgoolga, Northern Storm and even Urunga could be relegated to first division next year. "We have opted for eight teams in the first instance because we want a strong, quality competition," Graham said. "No club is guaranteed a spot, everyone will have to meet the criteria. "The main criteria will be the quality of the clubs' senior teams and strength of their junior base. "Woolgoolga and the Storm are likely to struggle, while the big one for a couple of clubs, particularly Urunga, will be the need to have a junior base in place." Graham said the fact Urunga's senior and junior clubs were not aligned this year would count against them if not amended, regardless of the Raiders' strength in Premier League.

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