Extra time - Bendigo to consider late bid for soccer league

BENDIGO could still make a last-minute bid to join Victorian soccer's pathway to the A-League.

In a big surprise, the new Victorian National Premier League has been given the green light for kick-off in March 2014.

Only last month, Bendigo Amateur Soccer League operations manager Brock Rogers was told the competition had been red-carded.

But Football Federation Victoria's year-long dispute with some member clubs over the elite competition's structure has been resolved and the BASL has been invited to re-apply for a licence.

Because the structure and timeframe has changed, BASL won't make a decision until it holds its annual general meeting on Monday.

"As a league we'll put a few things on the table and have some discussions and see if it is possible," Rogers said.

"Obviously we want to be part of it, we're very keen to be part of it...but the sort of timeframes we're talking about now is going to make it extremely difficult.

"In saying that, I'm sure there's enough people out there willing to help get the club up and running."

Rogers doesn't expect BASL's second licence application to be a formality.

Bendigo originally wanted to enter junior teams only, but will have to grapple with fielding a senior men's side.

"I'm yet to find out the exact criteria, the exact application process," Rogers said.

"I believe that having that men's open team is something the co-signatory clubs in Melbourne were looking to make compulsory.

"It would make it tough, we're realistic. 

"And to have a senior component that's not competitive in the first couple of years is going to do more harm than good.

"I have no doubt our junior teams would not only be competitive, but very strong championship contenders - we've proven that in the (Victorian Champions League)."

A senior team would need to finance match-day security, spectator seating, players races and probably payments.

Bendigo soccer lines up another shot at elite state league

For juniors, Rogers believes facilities at Epsom-Huntly are among Victoria's best and said costs would be comparable for those currently playing high-level competitions.

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