The announcement today by the NSW Government that it won’t allow community sport to resume until November means there will be no final series in the Coastal Premier League (CPL) and that the competition has concluded for 2021.
The CPL was suspended in mid-August when the NSW Government imposed an immediate lockdown. In response, organisers recorded all unplayed regular-season matches as draws. This move enabled the declaration of four finalists in both first grade and reserve grade.
CPL reserves last played on 14 August 2021 and were to be followed by CPL first grade. However, matches were abandoned 30 minutes before kick-off when the government announced the lockdown would commence later that afternoon.
In response, administrators had planned a shortened finals series, and the grand final was put back two weeks in the hope the season could resume. Finalists responded by drawing up individual training programs for players to help with fitness during the suspension.
Today’s news has ended officially ended the season with no finals. However, in both first and reserve grades, Coffs City United Football Club, for the second year in a row, were declared Premiers, having obtained more points than any other teams in both competitions.
The four finalists in first grade were Coffs City United, Coffs Coast Tigers, Boambee and Port United. The four finalists in reserve grade were Coffs City United, Northern Storm, Port Saints and Port United.
Statement by: Andrew Woodward, General Manager, North Coast Football
That’s a highly disappointing way to end the season. We were within touching distance of the finals. We were having a great season. The play was passionate, and the rivalries were growing.
The finals were shaping up as interesting contests with no one ruling out some surprises.
Eighty matches were played in first grade, delivering nearly 500 goals. The skill level and intensity increased this year, as did the standing of the competition.
The global pandemic disrupted our first and second years of CPL. It will be back next year, bigger and better. Hopefully, we can get a complete and uninterrupted season in – third time lucky!