Sport

Capital Football National Premier League debutants taking on top side in round one

Newcomers Gungahlin United will kick off their inaugural National Premier League campaign against defending grand final winners Belconnen United.

In a baptism of fire, Gungahlin United takes on the Blue Devils at McKellar Park on Saturday, April 11.

Belconnen United's Taylor Beaton in last year's NPL grand final.
Belconnen United's Taylor Beaton in last year's NPL grand final. Photo: Graham Tidy

Each of the nine teams will play 16 games over 18 rounds in the NPL, concluding with the grand final weekend on September 12 and 13.

The FFA Cup preliminary rounds will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and are expected to kick-off on April 7 and 8, with the final pencilled in for June 17.

The winner will be Canberra's representative in the FFA Cup.

Capital Football competitions manager Chris Doyle said a shortage of grounds was a factor in having two rounds of games instead of three.

"The reality of the situation is we've got 24 weekends that constitutes the winter season to use ACT government facilities," Doyle said.

"It's no shorter than last year.

"The clubs were split 50-50 as to three rounds to two rounds, so on that basis the status quo remains."

The idea of playing mid-week NPL games was raised but would have been difficult with the junior divisions from under-12s to under-20s.

Meanwhile, Gungahlin United has confirmed that the club's technical director Nigel Richardson has resigned.