GDSFA - THE SYDNEY HILLS ASSOCIATION
As you may be aware there has been a lot of speculation and talk about a new Hills District Football Association starting in 2016.
The Hills District is currently part of the Granville & Districts Soccer Football Association (GDSFA) competition area and has been since its inception in 1902.
During that time the GDSFA has fostered and encouraged the growth of new clubs and strived to provide a quality football environment for all participants under the umbrella of Football NSW and Football Federation Australia within our boundary.
We (GDSFA) have been approached by a group called the Sydney Hills Football Association (SHFA) and told that they are planning to run a competition for all Hills based Clubs only in 2016 and beyond which would potentially mean all Hills based Clubs would withdraw from the GDSFA and move to the SHFA.
No officials reasons have been given to ourselves or to Football NSW as to why the Hills based clubs need their own competition other than they want one.
In fact the SHFA have told both the GDSFA Board and Football NSW Directors that the GDSFA is doing a good job and they have no complaints.
Some Clubs did previously raise the issue of travel with us in late 2014 and some other comments have been made around the growth of the Hills Shire and the fight with other codes for access to sporting fields.
To be clear the splitting up of the GDSFA and formation of another association is not something we endorse or agree with and here are a few of the reasons why.
- Hills Clubs represent approximately 50% of the player base in the GDSFA
- Removing them would completely decimate the current competitions and greatly dilute the quality of football
- Less teams in a given age or division leads to a greater disparity between the top teams and the bottom teams
- This in turn means higher scores and can lead to players leaving the game as a result
- GDSFA would no longer be able to run a viable Womens/Girls competition
- No Agreement is in place to play the Womens/Girls in partnership with a Hills Association
- Such a plan would open up significant issues not least of which would be the inability of girls to dual register in mixed competitions
- SHFA similarly would not have the numbers to run Womens/Girls – a fact agreed by the SHFA executive
- GDSFA elite competitions in particular the Premier League would be unsustainable
- Teams from U5-U10 already play in the Hills area and do not travel out of it
- Most older teams only travel 4-5 times per year on average outside the Hills and that includes trips to Pendle Hill &Winston Hill
- Growth in the Hills Shire is only projected at 1.9% per year for the next 15 yrs from Councils own planning figures
- This represents approximately 200 football players per year only.
- Access to grounds is an exaggerated issue. New purpose football grounds are becoming available to cater for the growth regions
- The GDSFA has been in constant discussion with the Hills Shire over these grounds for several years
- Additionally 4 existing parks are being converted for sporting use to assist Clubs needing more space
- A fully Hills based association would lead to a likely shortening of the Football Season
- Hills Clubs on the main do not hold finals matches due to restricted access to the fields in September
- Council has long spoken about the desire to block off the first two weeks in September for ground maintenance and this gives them that opportunity
- The GDSFA has put a plan to Hills based Clubs to mitigate any concerns over travel which will be available for adoption prior to season 2016
- The GDSFA is working on expanding existing projects and new avenues such as Disabled Football, Summer Soccer,Futsal, Schools programs and more in conjunction with local Clubs.
- A larger player base creates a stronger competition and by default better quality players and hopefully our next Socceroos or Matildas captain
In summary the GDSFA believes the best solution for all participants in our game is to build a stronger, larger association with solid community ties and all working together with the vision to continue making Football the greatest game of all.