New Zealand Football is pleased to announce the 2017 National Youth League Draw.
The competition, which mirrors the ISPS Handa Premiership with the national league clubs around New Zealand, will be contested from 14 October to 17 December.
The 10 clubs include Auckland City, Eastern Suburbs, Waitakere United, Hamilton Wanderers, Hawke’s Bay United, Wellington Phoenix, Team Wellington, Tasman United, Canterbury United and Southern United in the nine round competition.
Daniel Farrow, the Competitions and Events Director for New Zealand Football, said the National Youth League is an important stepping stone in the Whole of Football’s talent perform pathway.
“The National Youth League is our pinnacle youth competition and a key part of our youth development pathway.”
Farrow said the NYL plays an integral part in ensuring a smooth transition from the national youth teams to the senior teams in the ISPS Handa Premiership.
“Considering the NYL’s importance as a pathway league, we’ve worked hard over the winter to find ways to better connect the NYL with the ISPS Handa Premiership. The biggest change is that the 2017 league will directly mirror the Premiership providing clubs with greater and more effective opportunities to integrate squads during the home rounds”
The National Youth League will open with Hawke’s Bay United hosting the Wellington Phoenix at Bluewater Stadium in Napier on Saturday 14 October.
Hamilton Wanderers are the defending champions of the National Youth League after they claimed the title in their first year in the competition.
Wanderers, who were beaten only once all season last year, finished the job in the ninth and final round when they recorded their seventh win away to Hawke’s Bay United thanks to a Paul Clout strike mid-way through the first half.
The stage is set for the National Youth League to begin with young footballers all over New Zealand looking to be crowned national champions.