By CRAIG MACKENZIE
A HISTORIC liaison between six local soccer clubs underpins the Women’s National Premier League of Victoria application by newly formed Southern United.
Casey Comets, Mornington, Langwarrin, Seaford United, Skye United and Peninsula Strikers juniors have formed a consortium to back a single bid representing one of the largest catchment areas in Victoria.
The consortium has formal backing from the City of Casey and City of Frankston and a verbal pledge of support from Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.
There were 22 applicants for Victoria’s inaugural WNPLV competition due to kick off next year with just eight applicants to be granted a licence.
Applications closed last month and have been screened by an Assessment Panel that is preparing a report to be presented to the Football Federation Victoria board at its meeting on 28 August.
FFV also created a WNPLV Assessment Support Team to assist both the panel and applicants but also to act as a go-between in terms of communication and to maintain an arm’s length approach between the panel and applicants.
Applicants will be assessed on the following 13 criteria:
1. Teams 2. Youth development 3. Coaching 4. Governance 5. Organisational structure 6. Finance 7. Facilities 8. Medical 9. Reporting 10. Member protection 11. Council support for facilities 12. Track record in women’s and girls’ football, and 13. Geography.
The impetus for the Southern United consortium bid initially came from Langwarrin where junior girls coach James Honey broached the subject with club president Tanya Wallace.
“James was really, really keen on the elite women’s side of things and we soon realised that it was too big for one club to go it alone,” said Wallace.
“We also believed that we would have a better chance of winning a licence if we took a regional approach so I contacted the presidents of the other five clubs.
“To be honest I expected more opposition to the idea than what we received so it didn’t take long to form a consortium committee with representatives from all six clubs.”
Michael Woodward, former Southern region zone representative from Strikers, is the inaugural Southern United secretary and former Matilda and Victorian state goalkeeper Theresa Deas is also involved.
The budget submitted with Southern United’s application forecast six-figure expenses and revenue with an anticipated profit in excess of $14,000.
The club also has produced a constitution, a logo and a number of designs and colours for home and away strips with a pink trim prominent.
Southern United proposes to play its home games on a rotating basis at Casey Comets, Mornington and Langwarrin as they fulfil the matchday venue criteria while training looks like being shared among the other consortium members.
“Casey Comets already have a WPL team but they felt it was better to be part of the bid rather than go it alone,” Wallace added.
“For all these clubs to come together like this is a first for the area and we’re pretty excited about the prospects but for now it’s just a matter of fingers crossed and hope for the best.”