ANNOUNCEMENT | Essendon Royals granted 2020 Football Victoria Junior Boys National Premier League license

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Essendon Royals are delighted to announce we have been granted a license for the 2020 Junior Boys National Premier League.

The club was one of 12 to be granted a license in the expanded junior competition which will allow our junior program to compete with the best in Victoria and become a recognised participant in Football Victoria’s elite player development pathway.

The announcement makes the Royals just the second club in Moonee Valley City Council with a junior program to reach NPL status and comes hot on the heels of our recently attained five-star status under Football Victoria’s Club Engagement Program.

This success has been built off the incredible growth and quality of the Essendon Royals junior program, which on pure numbers has become one of the largest in the state.

The Royals’ application was considered by the Football Victoria Assessment Panel with the news of the club’s acceptance delivered on Monday night.

Club secretary and reserves coach Emmet Sheehan and his fellow committee members spent hours perfecting the club application and Sheehan was delighted to see the work rewarded with acceptance into the NPL system.

“The club and committee have worked tirelessly to put this application together,” he said.

“It was important for the club that we should be able to offer a junior boys program which allows us to offer the highest level of competition for the boys’ teams available to us, but not at the expense of our presence as a community club.

“Prior to this restructuring, NPL clubs could not have junior teams playing in community leagues, but now that this is possible and combined with our new facility at Cross Keys Reserve, now was the perfect time for us to make the step up to NPL with our juniors.”

The announcement means the Essendon Royals will now be able to field one team each in the under-13, 14, 15 and 16 age groups into the JBNPL in 2020.

Crucial to the timing of the Royals’ application was that the club would also be able to field a community team in each age group as well.

This ensures that the Royals will now be able to offer the highest attainable level of junior football competition, whilst remaining a community club and offering a community football program for as many players at as many different levels of ability as possible.

The announcement also means the club’s JBNPL program will be subject to more stringent requirements, specifically with respect to the licensing of junior programs and the quality of football program provided for JBNPL players.

Crucial to the club’s application was the ability of the club to demonstrate its commitment to coach education, the coaching curriculum, coach accreditation, the provision of an exceptional new football facility at Cross Keys Reserve and the demonstration of what a 40-week training cycle will look like under the proposed NPL Juniors Program.

Essendon Royals Junior Technical Director Johno Clemente and Sub-Junior Technical Director Matthew Conservano put together the 40-week program which had to demonstrate competency that the club will be able to deliver high-quality coaching and club standards to make sure the Royals are able to produce high-quality footballing talent.

“We are super excited to see what the future holds at this club,” Clemente, who also coaches the Royals senior women team said. 

“It wasn’t easy, but the club had a vision of bringing the club back to the highest league possible, which is why we have invested in senior coach and Head of Football Vaughan Coveny, Matthew Conversano and myself to help move into a new era for the Essendon Royals. 

“We’ve got to where we want to be, now the hard work starts to ensure we’re a point of difference and a destination club for aspiring young footballers.”

While the announcement pertains to Football Victoria’s junior NPL competition for boys, the Royals are committed to ensuring that its women’s program enjoys the flow-on benefits from this announcement.

While the license granted will only allow the boy's teams to compete at the junior NPL level, the club is committed to ensuring its junior girls’ teams benefit from the same training programs and coach education as the boys.

The club plans to introduce a women’s football representative position on the committee as well as introducing a Technical Director for the women’s football program and will announce further details of these initiatives in the near future.

The club will share further information about the 2020 structure for junior teams and trial dates in the coming weeks.

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