United Pathway for Goulburn and the Southern Tablelands: An idea, a meeting, a consensus and a genuine will to do what is best for the youth of Goulburn. That is the foundation that has seen the boards of Goulburn Strikers FC and Stags FC unite.
In partnership with the STFA, the new entity to be formed ‘Southern Tablelands United’ will be realised in the coming months and will oversee the rebuilding of the proud production line of footballers from the Southern Tablelands region. The ultimate goal is to develop a defined, single pathway allowing the youth of Goulburn and the Southern Tablelands to see a genuine opportunity to progress from the underage STFA rep teams all the way through to first grade men’s and women’s competitions, competing with the best Canberra has to offer.
The meeting between the two clubs fortunately coincided with an approach by Capital Football to gauge the region’s interest in competing in NPL (Premier League) competitions again.
Capital football has given an understanding that their current NPL model and ‘Capital League’ is not functioning as they might have hoped. Thus the intention to, restructuring to an NPL1 and NPL 2 platform and eventual promotion and relegation between the NPL divisions.
Initially clubs nominating in the NPL2, possibly labelled NPL Development League, will be given the opportunity to build their youth base, while still competing with the strength of Canberra.
Southern Tablelands United will aim to meet the full NPL commitment garnering the interest of the whole region, its players and supporters. In order to establish teams, Southern Tablelands United coaches will begin scouting, recruitment and trials asap after their appointment later this year.
The club will also ensure the women and young girls have the same opportunities as the boys and men, entering as many teams as appropriate with the intention of developing the women’s game at all levels with a clear avenue to play for W league side Canberra United.
Following the club’s initial meeting and formation of an official board Southern Tablelands United will advertise for coaches, managers and additional volunteers to be part of this exciting venture.
Besides the new entity providing opportunities for players to represent their region each week, there are early plans to provide all regional coaches the chance to improve their experience and skills through formal and informal training.
The club aims to recruit the best coaches for all respective age groups to form a support network of peers to the benefit coaches and subsequently players.
Referees will have further opportunities to hone their skills with higher quality matches. Several Capital Football officials have progressed from the NPL to the Hyundai A League.
Stay tuned for regular updates over the coming weeks as Southern Tablelands United takes shape.