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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Inaugural Junior Development League season kicks off

The Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility will live up to its name as the “home of football” this weekend with 141 games being played in the opening round of the inaugural Junior Development League (JDL) season.

Twenty-three clubs – Adamstown Rosebud FC, Adamstown Rosebud JFC, Broadmeadow Magic FC, Central Coast United, Charlestown Azzurri FC, Cooks Hill United FC, Edgeworth FC, Football Mid North Coast, Kahibah FC, Lake Macquarie City FC, Lambton FC, Maitland FC, New Lambton FC, Newcastle Olympic FC, North Coast Football, Singleton Strikers FC, South Cardiff FC, Toronto Awaba FC, Valentine FC, Wallsend FC, Warners Bay FC, West Wallsend SFC and Weston Workers FC – are set to take part in the three-part competition on Saturday 13 March, which connects under-9s through to first grade.

The JDL was introduced to address the often-misunderstood player pathway for young players.

Northern NSW Football head of football development Peter Haynes said the launch of the Junior Development League provided a high-level training and playing environment for players throughout the Skill Acquisition Phase (nine to 12-years-old).

“Especially exciting is the introduction of specific leagues to cater for girls within the Skill Acquisition Phase, providing them the opportunity to play with and against girls of similar age and skill level,” he added.

“By providing club-based leagues for girls such as JDL it also puts the region in good stead to develop and increase the representation of more home-grown players in professional leagues including our Jets W-League team and, of course, Matildas squads.”

Haynes also highlighted that the JDL provides the opportunity for players to represent their club from a young age right through to senior level, something which has not necessarily been available in the past.

The 2021 Junior Development Leagues will consist of 22 rounds, which have been split into three releases of fixtures.

Each phase allows the team of Northern NSW Football Technical Advisors to assess clubs’ SAP programs and re-fixture matches to ensure games are played against appropriate opposition to ensure maximum development opportunities and to provide the best football experience for all players.

Despite the name, League, Northern NSW Football reinforces that scores and results will not be kept or published as per national recommendations for the age group.

For further information surrounding Northern NSW Football JDL and other premier competitions visit www.northernnswfootball.com.au/competitions/

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