National Youth League (Australia)
|Number of teams||10|
|Current champions||Western Sydney Wanderers Youth (2017–18)|
|Most championships||Sydney FC Youth (3)|
|TV partners||Fox Sports|
|2017–18 National Youth League|
The National Youth League (NYL) is an Australian national soccer youth developmental and reserve league, run by Football Federation Australia. The National Youth League was established as a successor to the competition of the same name and commenced in August 2008. The league runs in conjunction with the A-League as a developmental/reserve league. It is contested by ten teams, nine of which compete in the A-League, the other, the Australian Institute of Sport. Seasons currently run from October to March.
The league is sponsored by Foxtel and thus officially known as the Foxtel National Youth League.
The current league was announced by Football Federation Australia at the start of March 2008. It was set up in conjunction with the A-League in order to continue to develop young Australian talent into the league as well as into the Australian national team and its affiliates such as the under 17, under 20 and under 23 teams. The league's inaugural season was made up of seven teams, each linked to the corresponding Australian club in the A-League (excluding Wellington Phoenix) and had strong links to players training at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). The 2009–10 season saw the addition of Gold Coast United and a team from the Australian Institute of Sport Football Program. In the 2012–13 season, Gold Coast United were replaced by Western Sydney Wanderers. In April 2017, the closing of the FFA Centre of Excellence (previously the Australian Institute of Sport Football Program) was announced. Before the 2017–18 season, it was announced that Canberra United were granted a National Youth League licence.
All players in the youth teams are between the ages of 16 and 21 as of the start of the calendar year for each new season, while four over-age players from each of the senior teams are also allowed to be selected.
Each club contracts a squad of 16 Youth Development Players. Players must be between the ages of 16 and 21 as of 1 January in the year the season commences. Four over-age players (including goalkeeper) are also allowed to be selected (except when playing the AIS where it is restricted to two), usually these coming from the senior team. Each youth player must receive a minimum of 30 minutes game time. Players under 21 signed for the first team filling foreign player spots are classed as over-age players. These players can be any Australian player within the age group. A-League clubs must draw replacement players for their senior teams from the Youth League squad, except under certain circumstances. Such would include severe injuries to over-age players where an injury replacement player is able to be signed.
Up until and including the 2014–15 season the league had an 18-round format with every team playing all other teams Home and Away. In previous seasons an end-of-season finals series playoff tournament was played between the highest-placed teams from the regular season, culminating in the Grand Final game. The aim of a league is to provide a pathway for young players and state league players to play regular high-level football, and allow reserve players from senior A-League teams to remain match fit.
Introduction of conferences from 2015–16
From the 2015–16 season a new format was introduced. From 2016, all A-League clubs now have youth teams entered into their local conferences of the National Premier Leagues. By having NPL teams, there is now less reliance on the NYL to provide an avenue for youth players to their respective clubs. There was also pressure from A-League clubs to reduce travel budgets. As such the season was shortened from 18 games per team to 8 games plus a Grand Final. The existing ten NYL teams were divided into two conferences of five teams: Conference A consisted of teams from WA, SA, Victoria and Queensland, while teams from ACT and NSW were in Conference B. All teams play all other teams in their conference on a home and away basis. After the home and away series a Grand Final is played between the top teams from each conference.
|Adelaide United||Adelaide, SA||Marden Sports Complex||2008–09||Paul Pezos|
|Brisbane Roar||Brisbane, QLD||Lanham Park||2008–09||James Robinson|
|Melbourne City||Melbourne, VIC||CB Smith Reserve||2011–12||Joe Palatsides|
|Melbourne Victory||Melbourne, VIC||Epping Stadium||2008–09||Gareth Naven|
|Perth Glory||Perth, WA||Dorrien Gardens||2008–09||John Gibson|
|Central Coast Mariners Academy||Gosford, NSW||Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence||2008–09||Ben Cahn|
|Canberra United||Canberra, ACT||Australian Institute of Sport||2017–18||Ryan Grogan|
|Newcastle Jets||Newcastle, NSW||Newcastle No.2 Sportsground||2008–09||Lawrie McKinna|
|Sydney FC||Sydney, NSW||Lambert Park||2008–09||Robert Stanton|
|Western Sydney Wanderers||Sydney, NSW||Marconi Stadium / Popondetta Park||2012–13||Trevor Morgan|
|Team||Location||Stadium||Joined||Dissolved||Last Head Coach|
|Gold Coast United||Gold Coast, QLD||Owen Park||2008–09||2011||Mike Mulvey|
|FFA Centre of Excellence||Canberra, ACT||Australian Institute of Sport||2009–10||2017||Tony Vidmar|
Performance by clubs
|Season||Regular season||Grand final|
|2008–09||Sydney FC Youth||41–35||Adelaide United Youth||Sydney FC Youth||2–0||Adelaide United Youth|
|2009–10||Central Coast Mariners Youth||44–43||Perth Glory Youth||Gold Coast United||2–1||Perth Glory Youth|
|2010–11||Gold Coast United||41–35||Central Coast Mariners Youth||–|
|2011–12||Central Coast Mariners Youth||36–32||Brisbane Roar Youth||–|
|2012–13||Melbourne Victory Youth||37–37 [a]||Central Coast Mariners Youth||–|
|2013–14||Sydney FC Youth||41–37||Newcastle Jets Youth||–|
|2014–15||Melbourne City Youth||35–35 [b]||Brisbane Roar Youth||–|
- [a] Melbourne Victory won with greater Goal Difference.
- [b] Melbourne City won with greater Goals Scored.
|Season||Regular season||Grand final|
|Conference A Winner||Conference B Winner||Champions||Score||Runners-up|
|2015–16||Adelaide United Youth||Sydney FC Youth||Sydney FC Youth||5–2||Adelaide United Youth|
|2016–17||Melbourne City Youth||Sydney FC Youth||Melbourne City Youth||3–2||Sydney FC Youth|
|2017–18||Melbourne City Youth||Western Sydney Wanderers Youth||Western Sydney Wanderers Youth||3–1||Melbourne City Youth|
Player of the year
- "National Youth League to start in August". A-League. 5 March 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
- "Youth 'A-League' to kick off in August". Fox Sports. 5 March 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
- "Launch Dates On Track". FourFourTwo (Australia). 1 July 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2008.
- Davutovic, David (26 April 2017). "Centre of Excellence to close doors in August". Herald Sun.
- "Canberra United granted Foxtel National Youth League licence". Canberra United. 15 September 2017.
- David Lewis. "National Youth League in danger of axe as clubs prepare to pull out". SBS.
- "FFA announces revamped 2015/16 Foxtel NYL". Retrieved 2015-09-30.