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Victoria Premier League 1

Victoria Premier League 1
Organising bodyFootball Victoria
Founded2014 as National Premier Leagues Victoria 2
CountryAustralia
State Victoria
Number of teams14
Level on pyramid3
Promotion toNPL Victoria
Relegation toVictoria Premier League 2
Domestic cup(s)Australia Cup
Dockerty Cup
Current championsDandenong City
Most championshipsDandenong City (2 titles)

The Victoria Premier League 1[1] (formerly National Premier Leagues Victoria 2, 2014-2024), commonly referred to as VPL 1, is a semi-professional soccer league in Victoria, Australia. The league is the second-highest in the Victorian league system, behind the National Premier Leagues Victoria, and forms the third tier of the overall Australian league system.

Originally founded as NPL 1 in 2014, it has undergone several changes in competition structure since its inception. Comprising 14 teams in its first season, the league then featured 20 teams divided into two geographic East and West conferences from 2015–19. With the creation of NPL Victoria 3 in 2020, a state-wide second division was re-founded, comprising 12 clubs. Beginning from the 2024 season, NPL Victoria 2 and NPL Victoria 3 have reverted to Victoria Premier League, the name prior to the formation of the National Premier Leagues.[1]

In the 2024 season, Football Victoria has included a provision where relegation of the bottom two teams is suspended for that season, under the condition that a National Second Division commences in 2025.[2] Under this provision, the bottom placed team may be relegated in the 2025 season.

The competition is administered by Football Victoria, the governing body of the sport in the state.

Format

In 2014, the competition was a 14 team league.

For the 2015–2019 seasons, the league was divided into East and West conferences of 10 teams each. Each team played home and away against teams in their conference and single games against each team in the opposite conference. The winner of each conference was promoted to the NPL Victoria, while second place in each conference entered into a promotion/relegation series.

In 2020, the competition reverted to a 12 team league.[3]

For 2023 seasons, the competition returns to a 14 team league.

Current clubs (2024)

The following clubs will take part in the 2024 VPL 1 season:

Team Location Stadium Capacity Club Heritage
Bentleigh Greens Cheltenham Kingston Heath Soccer Complex 3,300 Cypriot (Greek)
Brunswick City Brunswick West Dunstan Reserve 1,000 Greek
Bulleen Lions Bulleen David Barro Stadium 3,000 Italian (Venetian)
Caroline Springs George Cross Fraser Rise City Vista Recreation Reserve 3,000 Maltese
Eastern Lions Burwood Gardiners Reserve 1,500 British
Kingston City Clayton South The Grange Reserve 2,000 Greek
Langwarrin Langwarrin South Lawton Park Reserve 5,000 Dutch
Melbourne City (youth) Cranbourne East CFA Melbourne 1,500 N/A
Melbourne Victory (youth) Epping Epping Stadium 10,000 N/A
Northcote City Thornbury John Cain Memorial Park 5,000 Greek
North Geelong Warriors Lara Elcho Park 5,000 Croatian
Preston Lions Reservoir B.T. Connor Reserve 5,000 Macedonian
Werribee City Werribee Galvin Park Reserve 1,000 Italian
Western United (youth) Point Cook Wyndham Regional Football Facility 5,000 N/A

History

Avondale FC were the inaugural champions of the National Premier Leagues Victoria 1 division in 2014, while North Geelong finished the season as runners up with both sides earning promotion to the National Premier Leagues Victoria.

On 6 November 2014, Football Federation Victoria announced Melbourne City FC NPL and Melbourne Victory FC Youth would join the league in 2015. Eastern Lions SC, Murray United FC, Nunawading City FC and Moreland City FC all also joined the expanded competition for the 2015 season. FC Bulleen Lions and Richmond SC were the two clubs to achieve automatic promotion in the revamped league in 2015 by winning their respective conferences. Melbourne Victory joined them by beating NPL2 West runner up Moreland Zebras FC in the NPL2 preliminary promotion playoff, and then North Geelong in the promotion playoff, with North Geelong joining automatically relegated sides Werribee City FC and Dandenong Thunder SC in NPL2 for 2016.

In 2016, St Albans Saints SC and Kingston City FC won automatic promotion by winning their respective West and East conferences, while North Geelong immediately bounced back into the top-flight, beating Dandenong Thunder in the NPL2 playoff and Richmond in the NPL promotion-relegation playoff. Richmond, Melbourne Victory and Northcote City FC were the relegated sides from NPL, joining the NPL2 for 2017.

Past winners

Year Competition Premiers Champions
2014 NPL 1
2015 NPL 1 East: Richmond
West: Bulleen Lions
Richmond
2016 NPL 2 East: Kingston City
West: St Albans Saints
Kingston City
2017 NPL 2 East: Dandenong Thunder
West: Northcote City
Dandenong Thunder
2018 NPL 2 East: Dandenong City
West: Altona Magic
Dandenong City
2019 NPL 2 East: Eastern Lions
West: St Albans Saints
St Albans Saints
2020 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.[4]
2021 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.[5]
2022 NPL 2
2023 NPL 2

References

  1. ^ a b "NPLM/W 2024 Update | Football Victoria". www.footballvictoria.com.au. 4 October 2023. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  2. ^ "Advanced Competitions - Rules of Competition 2024 (1).pdf". Google Docs. Football Victoria. 8 February 2024. p. 65. Retrieved 21 February 2024.
  3. ^ "Victoria restructures its NPL competition". footballtoday.news. 31 October 2018. Archived from the original on 19 October 2020. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  4. ^ "2021 Start Up". Football Victoria. 16 October 2020. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  5. ^ "Metro Melbourne 2021 season status". Football Victoria. 3 September 2021. Retrieved 3 September 2021.

Notes

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Victoria Premier League 1
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