Soccer: Canberra National Premier League clubs voice concerns at representative team
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Soccer: Canberra National Premier League clubs voice concerns at representative team

Canberra National Premier League clubs are fighting Capital Football's desire to have a Canberra United Academy team in the first division competition next season.

A CU Academy side in the NPL would be the first step to having a Canberra team in an expanded National Youth League.

Keen debate: Capital Football chief executive Heather Reid said some club presidents are against the idea of representative teams playing in the National Premier League.

Keen debate: Capital Football chief executive Heather Reid said some club presidents are against the idea of representative teams playing in the National Premier League.Credit:Jeffrey Chan

Football Federation Australia will conduct a review of the NYL at the end of the season to decide whether to bring in stand-alone teams.

Capital Football has fielded teams in junior NPL competitions under various names including NTC (National Training Centre) and Skillaroos.

However, they will all be known as the CU Academy from next season to avoid confusion.

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Capital Football chief executive Heather Reid said the idea to have CU Academy teams in the NPL had generated plenty of discussion.

"It's fair to say there is resistance from some of the NPL club presidents about Capital Football continuing to play in the NPL competition," Reid said.

"However, as part of the NPL licence criteria, it clearly states if they are in the NPL, they have to accept the decisions of the board, which includes institute academies or other teams playing in the competition, from FFA teams to our boys' under-13 teams."

Clubs are eager to have a decision made one way or the other so they can begin to plan their seasons.

They also want to know which players will be available and who will be with the CU Academy side.

Reid said any players who didn't want to play for the CU Academy in the NPL would still be eligible for Canberra's NYL team.

"It will be an open selection process," she said.

"Players choose a program they want to participate in and the most appropriate competition and training environment for them."

NYL teams who are affiliated with A-League clubs will play in their respective state-based NPL competitions during the winter.

Several Canberra players are currently playing in the NYL, including Sydney FC's George Timotheou and Josh Gaspari (Western Sydney Wanderers).

A Canberra team could play in the NYL as early as next season, but will be subject to FFA's review of the competition.

Expansion could be delayed until 2017-18.

"We have always had an aspiration and on-going conversations with the FFA about a Canberra team in the NYL," Reid said.

"They will specifically consider Canberra and other relevant development regions across Australia in the NYL.

"In the absence of an A-League team in this area, they will consider the inclusion of Canberra in the NYL."

Capital Football has begun preparing for the possible arrival of a Canberra United NYL team with the establishment of the Capital Football Foundation.

The foundation is set up through the Australian Sports Foundation and allows people to donate to the CFF.

The funds will be allocated to four programs – community football, the Canberra United W-League team, the Canberra United NYL team and infrastructure and facility development.

A Canberra NYL team will provide the city's most promising players with a pathway to securing an A-League contract.