VCL kicks off this weekend
The fifth season of the Victorian Champions League (VCL) kicks off this weekend at venues around the state with over 1400 of Victoria's best junior players set to take part.
The VCL is Victoria’s junior representative summer competition which splits the state into 13 zones with matches played on a weekly basis from Under 13 to Under 17 age groups in boys and girls.
The aim of the VCL is to increase player skill development by having the best players compete against the best opponents under the guidance of the best coaches.
The season will run until 16 December with players to be selected for Victorian state teams based on their performances in the VCL. State teams will then continue to train as a squad throughout 2013.
For the second consecutive year Technical and Respect points will be awarded alongside competition points.
Teams will receive technical points based on how well they attempt to implement the FFA National Curriculum including playing out from the back, good support play, using width, transition into defence, penetration and effective use of possession.
Teams earn respect points by being good sports and respecting the referee’s decisions.
Former VCL participants Brianna Davey, Ashley Brown and Steph Catley have all recently made their debuts for the Matildas while also playing for the Young Matildas alongside fellow Victorians Jacqueline Vogt, Cindy Lay and Tiffany Eliadis. On the boys’ side, Victorians Jordan Brown and Lucas Spinella are in the Australian Institute of Sport; the highest possible level for their age group.
FFV CEO Mark Rendell said that the focus on player development rather than winning at all costs has helped in the influx of Victorians selected to compete at higher levels.
“FFV is committed to providing elite player programs and competitions in order to provide talented players with a pathway to success, and with the VCL leading the way in regards to elite player development it is a testament to the Victorian football community that it has been so successful,” he said.
“We are now starting to reap the rewards of the VCL at higher levels, with six Victorian players in the most recent Young matildas camp highlighting how well Victorians are doing on a national stage.
“I’m sure there are a few future Socceroos and Matildas in action this summer and I’m looking forward to seeing the state’s best young footballers in action.”
The eight metropolitan teams competing are Central City, Western Wolves, North West Wanderers, Northern All-Stars, North East Diamonds, Eastern FC, South East Cougars and Southern Bluetongues.
They are joined by Loddon Mallee Lightning (Bendigo, Echuca, Swan Hill, Mildura), Rivers FC (Shepparton, Cobram, Wodonga), Gippsland Knights and the newly formed Southern Cross Strikers (Ballarat) and Greater Geelong Galaxy, having both been encompassed by Wimmera South Coast Eagles in previous seasons.