National Premier Leagues look to breed more A-League stars

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Hard work for players in the PS4 NPL could pay dividends in 2016, the competition announced a new award for the most outstanding talent of the season to be given a two week trial with Sydney FC’s youth side in hope of earning a contract with the club.

In the past season, 35 PS4 NPL players had earned themselves a place in an A-League, including for Wellington Phoenix’s Blake Powell (APIA Leichhardt Tigers) and Melbourne Victory’s Jai Ingham (Hume City).

The award ‘PS4 Player Pathway Award’ will be voted by the coaches and technical staff of all 135 PS4 NPL clubs to decide the three best players in their member federation. Subsequently 24 players will be in camp at Valentine Park (NSW) being schooled by former Sydney FC and Adelaide United coach John Kosmina and Sydney FC youth coach Rob Stanton.

It will all come down to one player to join Sydney camp, but scouts from all A-League clubs are invited to attend the session.

Fox Sports presenter Adam Peacock will also be in transit throughout the season, compiling an eight-part series called ‘PS4 Player Pathways Ones to Watch’ which will be shown on Foxsports’ coverage of Westfield FFA Cup.

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“I am really looking forward to following the PS4 NPL talent as part of the Ones to Watch series because football is about more than just a sport,” Peacock said.

“It’s about the players’ stories, the communities, the determination and the passion for our beautiful game.

“There is no better place to capture this spirit than on the regional football pitches around Australia.

“The PS4 Player Pathway initiative is exactly what grassroots football deserves to ensure no talent slips under the radar.”

Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop was also excited for the prospect and acknowledged the importance for the grass roots of football to grow the A-League stars of tomorrow.

“The PS4 Player Pathway Award is yet another significant step in connecting the second tier and the Hyundai A-League as it unearths the stars of the future and further identifies talent from across the NPL,” Gallop said.

“The inclusion of all nine Hyundai A-League clubs into a NPL competition is another important aspect of continuing to bridge that gap between the professional and second tiers.”

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Clement Tito
Currently studying at Deakin University in Melbourne, Clem has experience writing on AFL and has worked at Preston Leader Newspapers in Victoria. He loves reporting, spectating, discussing and playing both AFL and football.