Today New Zealand Football has announced the make-up of the ASB Premiership for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons.
This announcement came after a review of the national football league led to the decision to expand the ASB Premiership to ten teams, from the current eight, for 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. Expressions of interest were called for and eight applications were received for a two year National League Football Licence.
One club from the Waikato Bay of Plenty region, Hamilton Wanderers Sports Club, was among the applicants and WaiBOP Football Federation supported this application.
Loaded WaiBOP United, as one of eight entities currently competing in the ASB Premiership, has been required to make a decision on their position about continuing in the new competition structure.
The Federation, which has been managing Loaded WaiBOP United since the start of the 2013/14 season, has the view that only one team from our region can be supported due to player, coaching and financial pressures. Following a meeting in early December the WaiBOP United Board formally sought approval from New Zealand Football to transfer their licence to Hamilton Wanderers subject to Hamilton Wanderers meeting New Zealand Football’s licencing criteria, which they have.
The Federation’s main objective in supporting WaiBOP United has been to maintain a local presence in the top domestic league in New Zealand. This was to ensure an adequate pathway for players and coaches, encouraging them to stay in the region.
The club-base of Hamilton Wanderers is seen as a way to maintain this pathway in a more sustainable manner. It is important to keep a team in the region and the Federation see this as a great opportunity for a club to take the lead at the elite level in the region. It will also allow the Federation to focus their resources on their core business, which is leading, inspiring and delivering football for all stakeholders across the Waikato Bay of Plenty region.
This decision will not interfere with this year’s competition. There is an expectation that Loaded WaiBOP United will perform well for the rest of the season.
For more information and comment please contact:
Mark Christie, CEO, WaiBOP Football & WaiBOP United