PRESS RELEASE - NEW ZEALAND FOOTBALL
ASB PREMIERSHIP 2015-16 SEASON
ASB Premiership Draw Revealed
Thursday, 10 September 2015
The draw for the 2015-16 ASB Premiership was announced on Thursday
with the country's top domestic football competition featuring
several exciting new developments.
The streamlined eight-team league includes 59 matches, 32 of
which will be broadcast live via SKY Sport, along with a shortened
one-leg semi-final and grand-final series.
Wanderers SC, involved over the past two seasons as part of the
preparation for the New Zealand side competing at the FIFA U-20
World Cup on home soil earlier this year, drop out of the league
while the Wellington Phoenix return for their second year in the
competition after their 2014-15 debut.
The action kicks off on Sunday 1 November with the pre-season
ASB Charity Cup fixture between Auckland City FC and Team
Wellington before the competition proper gets underway on Sunday 8
November with Waitakere United hosting the defending champions in a
televised clash at QBE Stadium in Auckland.
The November 12 match-up between last year's Grand Finalists
Auckland City and Hawke's Bay United is the first of 14 Thursday
night games throughout the season - including the competition Grand
Final on Thursday 10 March.
New Zealand Football Community Director Cam Mitchell is
delighted with the way the league, a key part of the player pathway
to international football, is shaping up for the new season.
"The ASB Premiership is the connection point between our
thriving grassroots base in the Whole of Football programme and our
elite international teams operating under the Beyond Football
Plan," Mitchell said. "It is vitally important we have a
competition which serves as a proving ground for players looking to
make that step in their career and we feel this year's competition
will be the best yet in that regard."
"The Wanderers SC concept helped to develop a number of players
for the FIFA U-20 World Cup and several of them are now among
Anthony Hudson's All Whites squad. That is the calibre of player
which will now filter out to the remaining clubs and I'm sure we'll
see competition strengthen even further as a result."
A new feature of the league for the 2015-16 season is a funding
partnership with Trillian Trust which provides the opportunity for
clubs to have their season entry fees covered by New Zealand
Football if they are able to meet set development criteria.
The criteria cover club's operational areas in administration
and governance, community partnership and on-pitch aspects, such as
the employment of suitably qualified coaches, and Mitchell says the
initiative is an exciting step towards creating a stable
competition providing the best possible experience for everyone
"New Zealand Football is committed to raising operational
standards across the ASB Premiership with the aim to develop best
practice throughout the country," Mitchell said.
"The Quality Club Mark development programme was launched in
2011 as part of our award winning Whole of Football Plan and in
2016-17 the programme will be developed to include a Quality Club
Mark for clubs operating at the ASB Premiership level.
"As stage one of this process we are providing ASB Premiership
clubs with an opportunity to have their 2015/16 season entry fees
paid if they are able to demonstrate they have the systems and
personnel in place to deliver a top quality experience for everyone
connected with the club.
"Stable, strong and vibrant clubs are key to our ability to
continue to grow the sport in this country and our clubs at the top
of the pyramid should serve as examples for that vision."
Note: The full 2015-16 ASB Premiership draw
appears elsewhere on the SUFC Facebook page and also the SUFC