FOOTBALL Mid North Coast chairman Mike Parsons believes there is no cause for concern about the future of the Coastal Premier League.
The competition will kick-off next year with nine teams after Wallis Lake's decision to withdraw, with the club citing concerns about travel and a resulting loss of sponsorship.
FMNC will keep a spot open for a team from the southern part of their zone to fill the void. That team would also sign a three-year licence.
Port United, Port Saints, Kempsey Saints and Macleay Valley Rangers will represent FMNC in the 2020 CPL.
"We wouldn't be encouraging a fifth team from the northern part of our zone," Parsons said.
That decision was made because "our zone encompasses from Willawarrin all the way down to Bulahdelah".
"We certainly would love to see a team from the southern end of the zone and that's the goal that we're aiming for," Parsons said.
We wouldn't be encouraging a fifth team from the northern part of our zone.Mike Parsons
The possibility that Wallis Lake's fixtures up at Coffs Harbour could be played closer to Port Macquarie was discussed informally, but never progressed any further.
"We were prepared to try and negotiate to see if some of the Coffs Harbour clubs may have met them halfway," Parsons said.
"That never eventuated and it was five away games into Coffs Harbour, so it wasn't a whole season, but I fully respect their right to withdraw.
"But they did apply in the first instance with the full knowledge that there would be travel required and the parameters of the competition."
Parsons said the measure for success in the CPL would be a result of communication with both players and spectators.
"The success will result from the enjoyment, the performance of the teams, the camaraderie and the derbies that are eventually created," he said.
"The premise is it's a higher level of competition to lift standards all round, so the measure of success will be determined by the participants and supporters, not by me."
The business plan for the competition will be fluid and assessments would look to be made after every 12 months.
"We have granted the clubs a three-year license for them to develop their sponsors and absorb some of the costs and then sustain that over a three-year period," Parsons said.
I'd rather celebrate the fact we're having a Coastal Premier League and encourage it and espouse the virtues of it, while understanding that there may well be some hurdles and limitations.Mike Parsons
"I'd suggest it will be an annual review, but we haven't set that in concrete yet.
"We encourage any team from the "southern end" of our zone to reassess their position and perhaps be in a position to apply in the ensuing 12 months, if not before the Coastal Premier League starts next year."
Parsons said everything new always tended to have "teething problems" and its detractors as well as its promoters.
"I'd rather celebrate the fact we're having a Coastal Premier League and encourage it and espouse the virtues of it, while understanding that there may well be some hurdles and limitations," he said.
"But the clubs have chosen to participate, so they've stuck their hand up and given it the green light.
"All we can do as a football family is encourage its success rather than look at the negatives that may see its failure."
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