Parramatta Eagles drop out of NSW Premier League

It’s official: the Central Coast are in and the Parramatta Eagles are out of football’s NSW Premier League.

The Eagles finished bottom of the league table this year and were odds-on favourites to be replaced in Football NSW’s restructure of the 12-team competition.

Football NSW opted for the Central Coast, citing greater facilities, financial capabilities and direct player pathway to the A-League.

The Eagles, who represent the Granville Districts Soccer Football Association, were judged surplus to requirements despite having one of the biggest junior football associations in NSW.

Not even the recent introduction of the A-League’s Western Sydney Wanderers in Parramatta could save the struggling Eagles who finished bottom of the league for the last two seasons.

Granville District general manager Michael Briggs said it was a bitter pill to swallow for the club and the association.

‘‘We’ve put a lot of effort into the Eagles so it was a shock to see they were relegated,’’ Mr Briggs said.

‘‘We put our [Premier League] application in, like everyone else, but didn’t meet the governing body’s new requirements.’’

Granville Rage was another team from the Granville District Association to be relegated from the second-tier NSW Super League to State League one.

The association now has only two representatives in the Super League with the Eagles and Hills Brumbies, who retain their place from last year.

‘‘We (Granville Football Association) understand the decision to restructure both competitions but it’s a big blow for our 13,000 registered players,’’ Mr Briggs said.

‘‘We hope [in the future] both teams are promoted and we can start to cement player pathways for Granville-based players to the A-League.’’

■ For details on the restructured NSW Premier League visit footballnsw.com.au.

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