Return of NCF reserve grade
KICK-OFF for the North Coast Football (NCF) season is still weeks away but the clubs hit the ground running today as they open the books for the season’s first registrations.
Saturdays in February are traditionally reserved for the taking of player registrations and the purchase of playing equipment and all clubs have stocked up on supplies in readiness.
NCF will offer a slightly different product to players this year, with the clubs calling upon administrators to return to a reserve grade competition for men in place of the Youth Grade of recent times.
This is a request that the NCF Board has agreed to, with certain criteria.
The men’s first division will be played as normal, however, the reserve grade will now take the form of a 21-years competition in which four over-age players are allowed to participate on each team.
This decision was greeted with warm appreciation by the clubs who felt for some time that many players too old for Youth Grade but not ready for first division were missing out.
In the women’s competition, there will be both a first and second division competition, rather than a reserve grade, because it was felt it is too big a requirement on clubs to demand they have two teams as some clubs are still only able to field a second division team.
However, there will be a return to playing these two matches consecutively on a Saturday afternoon, following last year’s experiment where first and second division women played in separate draws and therefore usually at different venues.
This change has also been warmly received as it is felt playing the two divisions together gives clubs an opportunity to blood second division players into the top grade and provides a more exciting atmosphere as both competitions’ fans gather at the one venue.
The last major change to the 2011 season is the introduction of a Colts competition for juniors.
This is essentially a 17-years boys’ competition, which clubs can use to blood their juniors for senior ranks, however, 15- and 16-year-olds will be eligible to play in the Colts comp according to NCF by-laws (juniors may play in a competition up to two years above their age).
So, it’s all systems go for the world game in 2011.
All past, current and prospective new players are asked to check with their nearest club for February registration times, dates and venues.