U-19 side entry a step to premiership play
The winner is not in the back of the net, but the top of the South consortium has achieved a major goal in its bid to bring top-level national football back to the Nelson region.
After the bid to have a senior football team join the ASB Premiership was knocked back in July, the consortium has cleared its first major hurdle.
Yesterday confirmation came from New Zealand Football that a Nelson under-19 side will play in the southern conference of the ASB Youth League starting in January.
Nelson city mayor Aldo Miccio, a spokesman for the consortium, said having a Nelson side playing at a national level was wonderful for players, clubs and for the Nelson region itself.
It was a chance for football in the region to "shine", very much conscious that New Zealand Football would be watching closely to see if Nelson could perform.
Mr Miccio said the consortium hoped that after the 2013 ASB Youth League season, New Zealand Football would consider adding a Nelson senior football team for the 2013-14 ASB Premiership.
New Zealand Football chief executive Grant McKavanagh made no guarantees but said there was still the "possibility of expansion" in the future. He also made it clear in his comments that the youth side was a akin to a qualifying tournament - mess it up and you're out of contention, perform well and you're in with a shot.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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