The first National Premier League season kicks off this evening with NPL Victoria's first match of the 2022 taking place. However, the 2021 season is simultaneously being concluded.
The 2021 season NPL Victoria was cancelled after Round 18 last September. In an unprecedented move, decided after off-season court proceedings, the 2022 NPL Victoria season will begin while the 2021 campaign is simultaneously being finished.
2022 NPL Victoria Season
- The 2022 NPL Victoria season kicks off this evening with South Melbourne facing Heidelberg United.
- The first round of action will see all 14 NPL Victoria face each other from February 17-19.
- Some matches this season will count for both the 2021 and 2022 NPL Victoria season.
More National Premier League news can be found on FTBL.
The NPL Victoria resumes on Thursday evening after two successive interrupted seasons. The 2021 campaign was cut short in 2021, with remaining 56 games cancelled in September. Due to the eight unplayed rounds, no winner was announced last year.
Dissatisfied with this decision, 2021 NPL Victoria leaders Avondale opted to pursue legal proceedings against Football Victoria that ended in the Supreme Court of Victoria. Both sides ultimately came to a resolution through a mediated settlement.
In an effort to start the 2022 season but also conclude the 2021 season, the mediation results concluded that the points from 2022 fixtures that are also the missing 56 matchups from 2021 will count to both the 2021 and 2022 campaigns.
A win in 2022 will give three points to both the 2021 and 2022 ladders, if it is a match from one of the eight missing 2021 rounds. A draw will add one point to both and a loss no points. For the games that will count for both seasons, those matches will literally be doubly important.
Both 2021 and 2022 ladders will be simultaneously updated with a premier winner being named when the 56 unplayed fixtures are concluded. There will be no 2021 finals series and champions though.
Therefore, after nearly 200 days without top flight football in Victoria, the 2022 NPL Victoria will kick off this week. South Melbourne FC will face off against Heidelberg United at Lakeside Stadium on Thursday evening in the first game of Round 1.
For fans who cannot make it to the stadium, Football Victoria announced last week that they have joined three other member federations in the all-new NPL.TV. Over 600 matches from NPL VIC Men's, Women's, U21's, the Nike FC Cup and Dockery Cup and NPL Men's 2 & 3 will be streamed free on the platform.
This increased access and suspense for a number of games sets up for an exciting season ahead.
The full NPL Victoria schedule can be found on their website.