Altona City forms partnership with NPL club

Altona City's promotion winning coach Sam Borg will take a back seat next season. (Wayne Hawkins).

Altona City wants to be seen as one of the most progressive clubs in the Football Federation Victoria state leagues.

City has installed a young committee with ideas for the future to ensure it becomes a powerhouse.

The ultimate goal for City is to be part of the National Premier League Victoria but the committee has put no time frame on when it wants to achieve that goal.

The club is hoping to fast-track its push after forming a connection with current NPL club Avondale Heights.

City president Joe Tanti said the club was intent on learning the NPL ropes.

“We’re the only club in the Hobson’s Bay area that’s affiliated with an NPL club,” he said. “You get a lot of clubs diving head first into it but we’re going to learn how an NPL club runs first. We’re willing to sit back, see how it all runs and get our coaches up to scratch on development and then move forward.

“It has to be in every club’s consideration to go into the NPL. I think if the federation can get it right and running smoothly, we definitely want to be a part of it.”

City’s deal with Avondale is wide ranging.

On Altona City’s side, it will get an inner-sanctum look at how an NPL club is run, its coaches will be instructed by those from Avondale Heights and its young juniors will benefit though a skill acquisition program.

City will have access to talented Avondale youngsters who are too good for reserve team football but not ready for senior NPL standard and in need of senior football.

Avondale will have first dibs on City’s most talented players, creating a pathway for City’s state league players to play at a higher level.

“Our young players get that chance to play at a higher level and their young players get a chance to play senior football,” Tanti said of the partnership. “We’re in talks with the under-20s coach at Avondale about a couple of boys that probably aren’t NPL-ready but need that senior soccer to move forward.”

City is also part of Club Victory, which offers the club a chance to engage with A-League champion side Melbourne Victory.

City’s juniors had the opportunity to play on AAMI Park at half-time in Victory’s 2-1 win over Central Coast last week.