Rising Standards in NSFA Women’s Premier League

Rising Standards in NSFA Women’s Premier League

The NSFA Women’s Premier League aims to be the flagship competition within the region not just in name but in nature, featuring a strong selection of competitive teams full of talented local players.

Northbridge A were the undisputed queens of the competition in recent years, winning a record five straight league titles from 2015 to 2019. However, in the past two season the chasing pack has risen to the standards set by the five-time champions, with Lindfield A winnning the Leigh Wardell Trophy in the final round in 2020.

“I think this year the competition has been of a really high standard,” said Northbridge A coach Dene Ramsden.

“All of the teams in the league have raised their game and I can see the standards from each team – with regards to fitness, technical ability and tactics – seems to have stepped up, making this season really exciting and each game presenting a tough challenge.”

Northbridge A’s record-breaking 2019 title winners.

A key feature of the league in in the past two seasons as been the emergence of Turramurra United and West Pymble as Premier League clubs alongside Northbridge, Lindfield and North Sydney United.

“The competition is played in the right spirit by all teams with all games being very competitive and from a coaching viewpoint it’s interesting to see and analyse each team’s tactical approach and style of play,” explains West Pymble coach Jim Harte.

“From my perspective, the club’s support and valuing of their WPL players has been great – training gear, resources and venue arrangements are good and all requests have been well supported.”

“I think the quality of play this year is the highest I have seen,” commented Malcolm Waldock, coach of Turramurra United.

“There has been a massive influx of ex representative players and the Diamond League class of 2014 / 2015 is also now graduating to WAA across a number of the clubs.

“I think the most pleasing aspect has been the evenness of the games from top to bottom.”

Turramurra United’s 2021 WPL team.

The growing competitiveness of the league has been bolstered by the NSFA’s What’s Best For Her strategy, where clubs are encouraged to equally support their respective NSFA Men’s and Women’s Premier League teams. Lindfield A coach Graham Nes explains how the 2020 title winners have been empowered.

“The club and especially Paul (Grundy) has been pushing for equality within the club and ensuring the Mens and Women’s Premier League teams get equal access to facilities,” he said.

“Project 2023 has been a huge part of the club’s focus which has brought a lot of excitement to the squad and will hopefully continue bringing engagement between the Premier League squad and Diamond League teams.”

“This year we have both been able to access the new LFC training equipment and both teams get the same treatment in terms of kit provision,” added Lindfield B coach Phil Barfield.

“We have also had the support of a physio at home games – and so it’s great to see the women’s teams getting good support.”

Female Football Strategic Pillars

An inclusive and empowering culture is a key feature of the NSFA’s What’s Best For Her Strategy.

With seven teams competing in the 2021 season, the next step for the competition is expanding while continuing to increase the overall quality.

“I have got no doubt that within three years the NSFA WAA Premier League will be the equivalent of the NPL 2 competition,” explains Malcolm Waldock.

“Firstly that investment in Diamond League all those years ago means we have a whole cohort of players who have been well coached and are ambitious.”

“Secondly, it used to be the case that if your time at an NPL 1 club came to an end, your default position was to look for an NPL 2 club – I don’t think that will be the case anymore.”

“Our local competition is going to be every bit as good as NPL2 with about 10% of the travel, and nothing beats local rivalry!”

Thanks to the 2021 Women’s Premier League coaches who are contributing to raising the standards of our local competition: Phil Barfield (Lindfield B), Nicola Bonariggo (North Sydney United), Jim Harte (West Pymble), Graham Nes (Lindfield A), Nick Pappas (Northbridge B), Dene Ramsden (Northbridge A) and Malcolm Waldock (Turramurra United).

Female football and the NSFA Premier Leagues are proudly supported by Harvey Norman.

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