Worry over FFV changes

KNOX City and Rowville Eagles have voiced their discontent with the structural changes to Football Federation Victoria's competitions.

FFV announced last week it was abolishing metro and provisional leagues, and dividing the competitions into state league 4 and state league 5.

Sides will then be divided geographically into north, south, east and west with each of those competitions featuring 14 teams.

FFV believes the changes will help lower-division teams progress through the ranks easier, although Knox and Rowville are not convinced.

Knox City's president Cor Teeuw has mixed feelings, despite admittedly not having an extensive knowledge of the changes.

"I haven't really seen it [the league restructure], I have only been made aware of it recently," he said.

"They tinkered with the bottom half of the competition, but haven't done anything to the top half."

However, Teeuw does not believe the changes are advantageous to lower-division sides.

"It doesn't make it easier, the only thing that's good for the clubs is the local derbies," he said.

Due to the geographic zoning system, Knox will play neighbouring sides like Rowville, which was crowned champions of provisional league 3 south-east in 2012.

With the restructure in 2013, Rowville will play in the same division as Knox, in state league 4 east, despite the two clubs being four divisions apart in 2012.

Rowville president Daniel Puscasu said he was concerned about how his club would fare against sides who were formerly in higher grades.

"It's good, but not good for us. We basically skipped one [whole] division," he said.

"We are rapt that we are playing big clubs because we always enjoy playing against the big clubs, but the competition is much harder."

Puscasu also refused to buy into the belief that the restructure favours the lower league sides.

"On paper yes, but it's not easy because of the strength of the competition. The gap between metro league and provisional 1 is huge," he said.

Ultimately, because of the changes, sides such as Knox and Waverley Wanderers who were in state league 3 last year, will come up against provisional 2 and 3 clubs like Ashburton United and Rowville in 2013.

Puscasu also finds the zoning divisions a dampener, as most Rowville players andofficials are in the Dandenong-Hampton Park area, which is better suited to the southern division of state league 4, not eastern.

For full information on the structural changes, and leagues for 2013, check the Football Federation Victoria website, footballfedvic.com.au.

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