26 Feb 2021

New National League to change men's and women's football

3:53 pm on 26 February 2021

New Zealand football has confirmed the details of a new National League competition which aims to restructure women's and men's football.

Ali Riley

Ali Riley Photo: Photosport

The women's competition will see the best four club sides from the northern region and four federation sides from the rest of the country compete for the National League Championship title.

While the men's competition features 30 teams competing in three regional leagues, the Northern League, the Central League and the Southern League, with the top sides in each qualifying for the National League Championship phase.

Announced in December, the new competition aims to prioritise youth development and sustainability while providing an open structure in which any club has the ability to compete at a national level in both women's and men's football.

New Zealand Football CEO Andrew Pragnell said the competition gave the sport room to grow.

"The new National League gives young Kiwi talent the best chance of succeeding in the game, allows fans to support one club throughout one season and provides a truly sustainable base for the future of football in New Zealand."

"This is a game changer for football in New Zealand," he said.

The National League will be the country's biggest ever football competition and will include two All-Star games.

The Women's All-Star game will pit the best women's league players against a representative team made up of players from New Zealand's under 17s, Under 20s sides and the Future Ferns Domestic Programme.

The Men's All-Star will feature a team of the best players from the current season playing against a Men's Under 20 select side.

The All-Star games will take place on 17 March at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland.