FFA Releases National Youth League draw

Football Federation Australia (FFA) today released the inaugural National Youth League 2008/09 season draw.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) today released the inaugural National Youth League 2008/09 season draw.

The seven Australian based Hyundai A-League clubs will participate in the 21 round competition which will begin on Friday 26 September 2008.

Click on Document attached to see full draw

“The establishment of a National Youth League competition is an important component of the National Football Development Plan,” said FFA CEO, Ben Buckley.

“This is a competition which will provide an important link between elite youth football, the Hyundai A-League competition and the national representative teams, not only for players, but also coaches and referees.

“For the first time, talented young players will have an opportunity to play regular, quality competitive games regardless of whether they are part of the AIS program, the State sports institutes or the State football leagues.

“Football offers young, talented male athletes fantastic opportunities within Australia as well as unparalleled opportunities to represent Australia on the biggest stage in world sport,” Buckley said.

Of the 63 regular round fixtures, 32 matches will be played as curtain raisers to Hyundai A-League matches, whilst the remaining matches will be played at alternate venues on other dates.

At the end of the 21 rounds, the top two teams will play-off in the National Youth League Grand Final on Saturday 21 February 2009, one week prior to the Grand Final in the Hyundai A-League competition.

The National Youth League will feature the following competition rules:

* Youth Player Age Range Youth players must be born between 1987 - 1991 to be eligible for the National Youth League 2008/09 season.

* Over-age players Clubs may use up to 4 over-age players in their squads for National Youth League matches

* Guaranteed Game Time Each of the Youth players must play a minimum of 30 minutes per match

National Youth League - Competition Details

Competition Format

* 7 clubs - Adelaide United - Central Coast Mariners - Melbourne Victory - Newcastle Jets - Perth Glory - Queensland Roar - Sydney FC

* Season: 21 rounds (Each team has 18 Matches + 3 Byes)

* National Youth League to commence Friday 26 September 2008

* Age 17 - 21 (must turn 17 on or after 1 January in year the Youth League commences), maximum age is 21; must turn no older than 21 on or after 1 January in the year the National Youth League commences

* 15 Players on the team sheet.

* Each Youth Player must receive a minimum of 30 minutes game time

* 4 over-age players (including Goal Keeper) allowed to play in National Youth League Match

National Youth League Player Regulations * 10 - 12 Youth Players per club * Youth Players will sign a National Youth League Development Agreement which is of amateur status * Minimum agreement period- 1 season * Maximum agreement period - 2 years * Hyundai A-League Clubs can select any player within the age group, must be Australian (or in the process of obtaining citizenship) and can be from the AIS * Hyundai A-League clubs must draw replacement players from the Youth League Player Squad, except under exceptional circumstances

Coaches * Each nominated Youth Head Coach should t hold a minimum of a AFC - B Coaching License (or acknowledged equivalent). For more details go to www.footballaustralia.com.au/coaching

Referees * Match Officials for National Youth League matches will be drawn from an elite panel of referees which have been identified for future Hyundai A-League appointments.