2016 NPL Womens Draw Released

By Rafe Griffin (@griffofootball)

Monday morning saw the release of the fixtures for the 2016 NPL Senior Women’s season. The eleven clubs from last season will be joined Redlands. As was also announced in the past few weeks, it will be a true open-age competition after Football Queensland reversed the previously announced decision to limit clubs to five players aged over 20.

Round one opens up two weeks later than last year with Easts having the honour of kicking off the season playing hosts to SWQ Thunder on Saturday 27 February. The other match that night sees last year’s semi-finalists Peninsula Power and Sunshine Coast Fire meet at AJ Kelly Park. Power hoping to turn around last year’s finals result where the Fire knocked them out in the dying minutes of extra time.

Four matches on Sunday see out the opening round:

  • Redlands making their debut away from home at Western Pride
  • UQFC hosting last season’s Premiers and Grand Final winners, The Gap
  • 2015 cellar dwellers Moreton Bay and Souths United playing off at Wolter Park
  • Two more inaugural season semi-finalists, Olympic and Gold Coast City (formerly known as Palm Beach) finalise the round at Goodwin Park.

Some key features of the remainder of the draw sees:

  • Souths United, under the tutelage of last year’s Grand Final runner-up coach Gary French who has made the move from Palm Beach in the off-season, are scheduled to play all their home matches on Wakerley Park’s synthetic pitch. This may provide an advantage for his side in being able to train on the surface regularly and being the only team to have such a pitch at their disposal for matches.
  • Gold Coast City will play all but once home match at Bond University.
  • SWQ Thunder take two of their home matches to Kingaroy and Gatton against Sunshine Coast and Easts respectively.

After a top six in 2015, the finals series is condensed to the top four for the 2016 version with the format echoing that of the men’s with both week one semi-final winners progressing straight to the Grand Final.

The full draw is available at: http://bit.ly/1RzDnyD