The PFA’s report into the National Youth League has revealed 90% of its participants feel the season is too short.
The ‘Pathway and Workplace Conditions Report’ shed light on numerous other issues, following surveys with 110 players following the 2019/20 season.
PFA Chief John Didulica joined Box2Box and explained that despite what some may assume, reform doesn’t necessarily require an injection of funding from the cash-strapped FFA.
“It’s not just about dollars and cents because I’d argue we misallocate a lot of the money that we invest in the Y-League”, he said.
“We just needs to prioritise time and intellectual energy into designing a competition that’s actually worthwhile”.
In the Australian football landscape where disagreement is often the order of the day, one thing most do align with this that the eight-game youth season is far from sufficient.
Didulica pointed to extending the season, and floated a conference system to allow more participants, as ways to get more minutes into developing footballers.
Playing more matches will also mean players require greater investment, which should build competitive tension on the pitch.
“I always refer back to the… CIES (International Centre for Sports Studies) think-tank in Zurich. The only singular metric they could pinpoint that actually helped predict who would be a ‘successful’ player was the amount of match minutes between the ages of 18-21”.
“It’s absolutely fundamental you get players of that age playing a lot of good football at a good level”.