Premier league in sights

BENDIGO soccer will take a shot at setting up a pathway to the A-League in central Victoria next year.

The Bendigo Amateur Soccer League has gathered support from its clubs to pursue a licence in the new Victorian National Premier League, set to kick-off in March.

National Premier Leagues have been rolled out across the nation to bridge the gap between grassroots soccer and the professional A-League.

Football Federation Victoria is finally able to plough ahead with its new league, which had hit a brick wall in the form of a court injunction brought on behalf of a group of Melbourne clubs.

Bendigo applied for a licence before the injunction and will once again seek entry into the competition.

Despite the short set up time and need for a senior men's team, BASL operations manager Brock Rogers is confident Bendigo can meet the requirements.

"Bendigo is still fully supportive of the NPL, so we're going to put in an application," Rogers said.

"There's still a number of questions that we would like answered over the coming weeks, but I'm sure we'll do that throughout the application process.

"Hopefully, in a few months' time, we are successful in getting a licence and we can get this club up and running so we can play some competitive soccer."

Bendigo will apply to enter under-12s, 14s, 16s, 18s, 20s boys and a senior men's team next year.

Female teams are set to be included from 2015.

Rogers said support for a club has been widespread.

"There's a number of people playing at that level in Melbourne who are willing to play for a Bendigo team if it gets up and running," he said.

"Judging by the support I've received over the last couple of days from corporate sponsors, businesses in Bendigo, parents, players, even ex-players, coaches have made contact and want to help out as best they can.

"Judging by that support, which has really taken me back, I think it's possible for sure.

"It will probably mean that we will have to start putting things in place now, even though we haven't got a licence yet."

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