Southern NPL teams prepare to join the Championship & Social Football returns for 2020

Southern FC
Credit Tanner Coad

The regular football season is almost here. But It’s not all about the NPL TAS or WSL kicking off in a couple weeks time.

The revamped 12-team Southern Championship kicks off tomorrow. We were set to have 13 but Eastern Shore club Nelson Eastern Suburbs withdrew from the competition Friday afternoon as well as leaving Southern Championship 1.

The league retains the previous 7 teams from last years competition and will also feature the 5 Southern NPL clubs.

I look forward to seeing how the league will go with this addition.

A great example of youth prospects being promoted to the NPL is from last season when Hobart Zebras played four new players in the lineup v Clarence United.
From left Sam Plunkett Smith, Arthur Wilson, Alex Smith and Sam Jones
Photo credit Hobart Zebras Twitter

When I interviewed Clarence Zebras manager Dave Smith last year, Smith said that it hurts clubs not having the reserves playing on the same day as the seniors.

Realistically if you don’t have your reserves playing before your seniors on the same day, it can be very very hard. It hurts the club. Challenge is a seperate team to our club. Yes NPL and Challenge train together, but we two different teams, at two different venues, when one doesn’t play one after the other. Very frustrating. Hopefully the competition review will help some of that moving forward

Dave Smith 2019

The competition review last September resulted in the short lived six team Challenge League being ditched in favour of the NPL teams having their reserves in the Southern Championship.

I can see this being the right move going forward.


Switching focus to the Social Leagues there has been some changes to the rules and structure of the competition.

I was fortunate enough to obtain the rules and regulations from a reliable source.

2) The following rule proposals have gone to FT for inclusion into this year’s social competition section:

a) No player who’s taken the field at NPL or Southern Championship level this season may subsequently take the field in social competition this season.

b) A social side in Southern Championship 2 or Southern Championship 3 may play a maximum of three players (in any one game) who’ve taken the field in Southern Championship 1 this season.

c) A player who’s taken the field in SC1 this season must not take the field in SC4, SC5 or SC6 this season, unless by special and reasonable emergency exemption granted by Emma Brown (at a minimum of three days notice), and to a maximum match-day team-sheet of 13 players.

d) A social side may play a maximum of three non-regular players (in any one game) – those being any combination of ‘regulars’ from a higher division social side, or SC1 fill-ins covered in rule 2, unless by reasonable emergency exemption granted by Emma Brown (at a minimum of three days notice), and to a maximum match-day team-sheet of 13 players.

e) A player who takes the field in Southern Championship 1 this season may take the field in a maximum of five social competition games this season. (Ie. rotate your higher fill-ins)

f) Any club withdrawing a side from social competition must withdraw its lowest level side, and filter remaining players upwards, to ensure integrity of lower-level leagues.

The penalty for breaching these rules is a 3-0 forfeit in the social game involved + applicable club fine imposed by Football Tasmania.

Some rare ‘Common sense’ exemptions may be approved in emergency situations, through Emma Brown but at least three days’ notice is required.


Social football is another thing that makes association football great. The players may not be in front of big crowds or bright lights but everyone around you has that love and shared passions for the beautiful game.

And that’s what I love about it.

I was fortunate enough to play for a short time last year in my only season with Southern FC.

Credit Jayden Clark

I have a lot of fond memories with teammates and staff at Sherburd Park. We had a great Coach in Geoff Brown who is now the U18s Coach at Clarence Zebras. A well deserved move and someone i’m proud to call a good friend. I’m really excited to see what’s next for him in the future.


The Social Summer Cup Finals fixtures have also now been confirmed for Tier 1 and Tier 2.

In Tier 1 we will see Metro Blue play Beachside FC, while in Tier 2 South Hobart FC will be against Taroona FC with both games being played at KGV on Monday 9th March.

Beachside’s Adam Lapolla controls the ball.
Photo credit Walter Pless

Southern Championship Round 1

Saturday 7th March 2020

South East United v Newtown Eagles 1:15pm at Pembroke Park

Kingborough Lions v Nelson Eastern Suburbs 2:15pm at Lightwood Park (Now Canceled due to Nelson withdrawing from the competition)

University S.C v Glenorchy Knights 2:15pm at Olinda Grove 1

Metro FC v Hobart United 3pm at North Chigwell

Taroona FC v Olympia FC Warriors 315pm at KGV

Clarence Zebras v Beachside FC 315pm at Warrior Park (Venue changed due to Council )

South Hobart FC have the bye

Social Summer Cup Finals

Monday March 9th 2020

Tier 1 Final Metro Blue V Beachside FC 1pm at KGV

Tier 2 Final South Hobart V Taroona 3pm at KGV