NPL

Gen Next and the search for nuggets

March 5th, 2021

North Coast is prepping and primed for a fresh assault on the NPL (National Premier League) this season – with the bulk of elite youngsters from 2020 suiting up to go again. They will of course be without their ‘Golden Generation’ – a team who celebrated unprecedented success through the age groups, but as 16-year-olds, last year was their swansong.

North Coast Football Technical Director Jack Dover said the list from that all conquering line-up would now move on to senior community football, many straight into Coastal Premier League outfits. But retention and development in the younger groups have been a focus, with trials being held last year, and pre-season training blocs already ticked before and after Christmas.

North Coast will again field squads in the 13s, 14s, 15s and 16s – and it’s all to play for against quality opposition including the powerhouses from the greater Newcastle region.

“I’d say we’ve kept around 98 per cent (of the youngsters from last season),” Jack said.

While onfield results are one metric – it can be a harsh and short-sighted one when it comes to junior football, where the emphasis should be on development.

“We are clear of how we want to play,” Jack said.

“The challenge will be to try and execute that. The goal will be to apply the training techniques in games.”

With the squads and coaches in place, North Coast will be looking to impose its brand of football on the competition – and will be racking up the frequent flyer points from the get-go.

Their first three fixtures are all on the road – against Weston Workers on March 13, then Mid Coast on March 21 and Lambton Jaffas on March 27.

April 4 will mark their first home outing of the competition, when North Coast host Edgeworth FC at Coffs Coast Sports and Leisure Park.

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