Netball NSW is delighted to announce that the organisation’s flagship competition, the Premier League, will expand in 2020 with new franchises from the South Coast and ACT joining the eight foundation teams.
Founded in 2016, the Netball NSW Premier League is the pinnacle competition in the state, showcasing the best current and emerging talent NSW has to offer.
It provides a local, elite platform for players, coaches, officials and administrators, and bridging opportunities to the Deakin University Australian Netball League (ANL), the feeder competition to Suncorp Super Netball.
The Premier League is contested across two divisions – Opens and Under 23s – and from 2020 will have 10 teams in each division facing off for the respective titles.
The newly formed South Coast Blaze, backed by the Illawarra, Kiama and Shoalhaven Netball Associations as well as the Illawarra Academy of Sport and University of Wollongong, has been confirmed as one of the new franchises.
The other, called the Capital Spirit, will be owned and operated by Netball ACT. The competition’s regular season and Finals Series will still take place at Netball Central in Sydney Olympic Park.
Netball NSW CEO and Premier League Commissioner Carolyn Campbell said the addition of two new franchises was huge step forward for the competition.
“To see how the competition has grown since it was introduced back in 2016 is something we are very proud of,” Campbell said.
“Both the Blaze and Spirit put forward very strong cases for inclusion in the competition going forward and we are delighted to welcome them into our Opens and Under 23s competitions
“We have seen our ANL teams reach Grand Finals over the past few years and I think the level of netball they are exposed to in the Premier League helps with that.
“As a result our players are in a better position to step up should they be called into the ANL – or even the NSW Swifts or Giants Netball in the level beyond that.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate both the South Coast Blaze and Capital Spirit on their successful applications and look forward to seeing them on court in 2020.”
The Blaze and Spirit will join the eight existing franchises who also compete across both the Opens and Under 23s divisions: Central Coast Heart, ERNA Hawks, GWS Fury, Manly Warringah Sapphires, North Shore United, Panthers, Sutherland Stingrays and UTS Sparks.