Thursday, 8 January 2004 12:00 AM
South Melbourne today clarified its application to be part of the Victorian Premier League.
“Our move is a strategic option that may also enable us to play our Youth players in Victoria’s premier competition as part of a career path strategy and one that supports local soccer” said Club CEO Mark Patterson.
“I do not want this application to be perceived as showing any lack of confidence in our success to be part of the new National competition. On the contrary said Patterson today “We are of the view that our National application will be successful and that we will be a strong and valuable asset to the new league” he said.
What South Melbourne can also do is help strengthen Victorian soccer by adding its brand and its players to the local competition that provides young players with an opportunity to develop their careers.
“I see this as a real test for the ability of the Victorian soccer administrators to see a vision for the future and to look at the positives that the changes to the national competition can have locally. South Melbourne’s participation can indicate how a National club can assist to lift the profile and credibility of the local game,” said Patterson. “This also creates an opportunity for South Melbourne to provide a 12 month on-field operation that will benefit our commercial and player development operations,” added Patterson.
South Melbourne sees its role as broader than just a National club and believes it can offer strength within Victoria both on-field and in terms of promoting the game within the wider community as well” Patterson went onto say.
This Premier League move is just as much about South Melbourne wanting to continue to be a proactive participant at all levels of soccer as it is about protecting any potential National position whilst it continues to assist game development in Victoria.