When did playing football become complicated?
The reason for its worldwide popularity has always been because of its simplicity, but the world over administrators feel the need to tamper with things, leaving fans players and coaches scratching their heads.
At the weekend the McInerney Ford Top Four finals started in Perth. In the Inglewood United v Bayswater City game frustrations boiled over late in the game which saw three players shown a red card.
Understandably those players are now going to be suspended for one or two games. The problem is according to the clubs neither side is allowed to bring in any players outside the squad that they submitted to Football West.
Then we hear courtesy of a post on social media from Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne that any player who has played any part in the NPLWA finals over the last weekend is cup- tied to that level, U18/20 or first team.
As Coyne quite rightly stated this “means that clubs could play finals football with less than 16 named players, so instead of promoting our younger players development we have to adhere to nonsensical administration.”
The NPL was promoted as a development league. It was to be a pathway to A-League football. Yet rules like this fly in the face of development.
As one coach said at the weekend, Finals are the ideal opportunity to bring a young talented player into the first team environment to experience what finals football is all about, and help prepare them for the future and also hopefully to motivate them to want more.
By all means restrict a player if promoted to the first team from playing back down in the other teams during the finals but to prevent them being promoted is not helping the player, the club or the game.
If a young player has played in the under 18’s and has seen the player playing in the same position injured or suspended he is, if he has any ambition, going to be doing all he can to be selected and step into the gap created and prove his worth.
Yet the competition rules ridiculously prevent such a situation. What can be more demotivating to a young player than having his opportunity denied purely because of an unnecessary rule?
The Finals are supposed to be about showcasing the game, promoting the best players and teams, but rules such as this prevent clubs showing their depth, and putting the best team on the park. They also fly in the face of everything each club is trying to show, that if you are good enough you can play in the first team, or in the team above your age group. That their club will give youngsters an opportunity and pu their faith in them.
Football is supposed to be so simple. Why do we have to complicate it so much?