National Premier Leagues Victoria
|Number of teams||12|
|Levels on pyramid||2|
|Relegation to||Victorian State League Division 1|
|Domestic cup(s)||FFA Cup|
|Current champions||Northcote City 2013 Champions
Northcote City 2012 Premiers
|Most championships||Green Gully (8 titles)|
|TV partners||VPL TV (internet)
|Website||Alanic Victorian Premier League|
|2014 National Premier Leagues|
The National Premier Leagues Victoria is semi-professional soccer competition in Victoria, Australia. The league is a subdivision of the second tier National Premier Leagues, which sits below the national A-League. The competition is administered by Football Federation Victoria, the governing body of the sport in the state.
The league commenced in 1909 with Carlton United being the first champions. It has run continuously except for a three season postponement from 1916 to 1918 owing to World War I. After 1945 the league, like fellow state competitions around the country, received a massive boost in numbers and quality with the post-war influx of European migrants, whose dominance was established so effectively that no club which had won the title before 1952, Juventus' first title, has won one since.
Juventus would go on to dominate the league in the 1950s, winning six titles, including five in a row from 1952 to 1956. In 1958, after the Victorian Amateur Soccer Federation was formed, the league became known as the Victorian State League. From 1962 until 1976 the league was largely dominated by South Melbourne Hellas and Footscray JUST, which won 11 titles between them.
With creation of the National Soccer League (NSL) in 1977, the league gradually lost most of its stronger clubs, a trend that reached its peak between 1984 and 1986, when the NSL used a split conference system. After 1987, however, the league slowly started regaining clubs, firstly those discarded when the conference system experiment was abandoned and later when clubs became permanently relegated by the NSL to their respective state leagues. The dominant side during the years from 1977 to 2004 was Green Gully, who won six titles during this period, despite also missing the years 1984-1986 from being in the NSL.
In 1991 the league rebranded again to become the Victorian Premier League and the first finals to determine the champions were staged in 1992, won by the newly promoted North Geelong. Following the demise of the NSL in 2004, the remaining two Victorian NSL teams Melbourne Knights and South Melbourne were granted permission to play in the VPL season of 2005. The league received a major boost at the start of the 2005 season when Vodafone became major naming rights sponsors, with the competition being renamed the Vodafone Cup. The 2005 season initially saw crowds attending in record numbers to witness the return of old derbies such as that between South Melbourne and Heidelberg United, but with the formation of the A-League filling the void of a national domestic league, 2006 saw a sharp decline in attendances.
The end of the 2006 season also witnessed a controversial finish to the relegation battle. With three teams finishing on 30 points, Sunshine George Cross were relegated on goal difference. However, a post-season appeal to the tribunal on the grounds that Essendon Royals had fielded a suspended player (Ilcho Mladenovski in round 24) saw the Royals deducted a point and relegated. Ultimately, both clubs reprised their position in the following season's competition with the inclusion of the Australian Institute of Sport evening out the numbers to 16, and as the first part of reforms to the competition set to be brought about in 2008.
The Australian Institute of Sport experiment was largely derided by the local clubs, and after their removal from the competition in 2008, the league reverted to 12 teams and a Top 5 Finals-Series in 2009. However, the concept of a youth development squad was reintroduced in 2010 with the National Training Centre team playing in midweek fixtures throughout the season but not for competition points. In 2011 the team, mostly comprising players from the Melbourne Victory youth squad, was renamed Victorian Training Centre Football and was eligible to score competition points for its matches but ineligible to qualify for the finals series or be relegated.
On 15 September 2013, Victoria Police arrested up to ten people, including Southern Stars FC players David Obaze, Nicholas McKoy and Joe Woolley as well as the coach, Zaya Younan, for allegations of match fixing. They are expected to be charged with corrupting the outcome of betting.
In early 2013, it was announced that Victoria would join the National Premier Leagues, with the Victorian Premier League expected to be rebranded for the 2014 season. Although Football Federation Victoria's initial proposal was halted with the announcement of a deferral in November 2013 after several clubs objected to the process for selecting team. However, by December 2013, a resolution was reached whereby Victorian teams would participate in the 2014 season.
The league sits below the A-League and forms a part of the second tier of league soccer in Australia. It is primarily staged in the Australian winter and, in its current format, runs between February and August. The league comprises twelve teams, every team playing each other twice over the course of a 22-round home-and-away season. The team finishing first after this stage are crowned the premiers, with the teams finishing eleventh and twelfth relegated to Victorian State League Division 1.
At the conclusion of the home-and-away season, the top five teams advance to a 4-week finals series, conducted using the McIntyre final five system. The team winning the grand final at the end of this stage are crowned the champions and awarded the Victorian Premier League trophy.
Coverage of The Victorian Premier League is provided by the local non-profit community television station, Channel 31 Melbourne on the new Extra Time TV Football Show, as well Green Gully providing a program of their own on the same network. As with the New South Wales Premier League Grand Final, an edited version of the 2006 and 2007 decider was also played on the Aurora pay television channel. Live calls of games were occasionally broadcast on sports radio station SEN 1116, along with discussion on the league, although that station's increased Australian Football League commitments have pushed that coverage aside. Print coverage is generally scant in Melbourne's two major daily newspapers, the Herald Sun and The Age, but more coverage is provided by specialist newspaper GoalWeekly, non-English language newspapers and free suburban newspapers. As of 2010, the Victorian Premier League is now broadcast on Radio Australia as well as ABC Local Radio's Grandstand coverage, and a new television show, Extra Time TV, on Channel 31 going digital and now state wide and first time VPL Live Matches Online.
|Ballarat Red Devils||Ballarat||Morshead Park Stadium||8,000|
|Bentleigh Greens||Cheltenham||Kingston Heath Soccer Complex||5,000|
|Dandenong Thunder||Dandenong||George Andrews Reserve||5,000|
|Goulburn Valley Suns||Shepparton|
|Green Gully||Keilor Downs||Green Gully Reserve||10,000|
|Heidelberg United||Heidelberg||Olympic Park||10,000|
|Hume City||Broadmeadows||Broadmeadows Valley Park||5,000|
|Melbourne Knights||Sunshine||Knights Stadium||15,000|
|Northcote City||Thornbury||John Cain Memorial Reserve||5,000|
|Oakleigh Cannons||Oakleigh||Jack Edwards Reserve||5,000|
|Pascoe Vale||Pascoe Vale||Hosken Reserve||7,500|
|Port Melbourne Sharks||Port Melbourne||SS Anderson Reserve||1,000|
|South Melbourne||South Melbourne||Lakeside Stadium||15,000|
|Werribee City||Werribee||Galvin Park Reserve||1,000|
Clubs participating from 1963 to 2009
- Albion Leyland/Albion Rovers/Albion Turk Gucu/Melton Reds (1978–79, 1982–1985, 1990–1997)
- Altona City (1977–1981)
- Altona East Phoenix (1999–2003)
- Altona Gate/Altona Magic (1989-2010)
- Australian Institute of Sport (2007–2008)
- Bentleigh Greens (1996–2005, 2010-)
- Box Hill (1969–1973, 1983–1990, 1995–1996)
- Broadmeadows (1984)
- Broadmeadows City (1987)
- Brunswick Juventus/Juventus (1963–1983, 1989–93)
- Bulleen Lions (1988–1997)
- Bulleen Zebras (1998–2006)
- Caulfield City (1986–1990, 1993)
- Coburg United/Hume City FC (2008-)
- Croydon City (1979–84)
- Doncaster Rovers (1995)
- Doveton (1981–1984, 1991)
- Essendon Lions/Lions (1962–1971)
- Essendon Royals/Triestina (1964–1965, 2001, 2003–2007)
- Fawkner Blues (1983–2004, 2007–2008)
- Fawkner-Whittlesea Blues (2005–2006)
- Fitzroy Serbia/Fitzroy City (2002)
- Footscray JUST/Melbourne City JUST (1963–1976, 1990)
- Frankston City (1977–1982)
- Frankston Pines (1984–1987, 1989–1990, 2003–2006, 2008)
- Green Gully Cavaliers (1977–1983, 1987-)
- Hakoah. St Kilda/St. Kilda Hellas-Hakoah (1963–1982)
- Heidelberg United/Fitzroy United Alexander/Alexander (1964, 1966–1968, 1970–1976, 1988, 1990, 1996–1998, 2000–2002, 2005-)
- Keilor Austria/Austria (1972–1974)
- Kingston City (2006–2007)
- Knox City (1984–1985, 1992–1993, 2004)
- Maribyrnong Polonia/Polonia (1963–77, 1982–1989)
- Melbourne Knights/Essendon Croatia/Melbourne Croatia (1960, 1962–1963, 1965–72, 1977–1983, 2005-)
- Melbourne/Melbourne Hungaria (1963–1975, 1986)
- Melbourne Raiders (1999–2000)
- Moorabbin City (1998)
- Mooroolbark/Mooroolbark United (1974–1976, 1990–1991)
- Morwell Falcons (1982–1992)
- North Geelong Warriors (1992–1997)
- Northcote City (1981–1991, 2010-)
- Oakleigh Cannons (1987–1988, 1991–1992, 2000, 2004-)
- Port Melbourne Sharks (1994–2003)
- Port Melbourne Slavia/Prahran Slavia (1963–1970, 1973–80)
- Preston Makedonia/Preston Lions (1967, 1976–80, 1994–1995, 1997–2009)
- Richmond SC/Alemannia Richmond (1963, 2006-)
- Ringwood City/Ringwood City Wilhelmina (1963–1966, 1968–1986, 1988–1990)
- South Dandenong/Dandeong Thunder (1998–1999, 2001, 2009-)
- South Melbourne Hellas/South Melbourne FC (1963–1976, 1983, 2005-)
- Springvale City (1985–1989, 1993–1996)
- Springvale White Eagles (1997–1999, 2007, 2011)
- St. Albans Saints (1984–2005, 2011)
- Sunshine City (1975–1982)
- Sunshine Georgies/Sunshine George Cross (1958–1983, 1992–1999, 2005–2007, 2009-2010)
- Thomastown Zebras (1985–1994, 1996–1998)
- Werribee City Bees (1994–1995)
- Western Suburbs SC (1980, 1984–1988, 2007–2008)
- Westvale (1999)
- Whittlesea Stallions (2002–2004)
- Whittlesea Zebras (2007–2009)
Champion teams per city
- The Age newspaper]
- "Gallop aims for Aussie FA Cup". The Australian. AAP. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- "Second Division 'By 2022'?". Australian FourFourTwo. Sportal Australia. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- "NPL update - message from FFV Board". Football Federation Victoria. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "National Premier Leagues confirmed for Victoria in 2014". Football Federation Australia. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.