'Clubs can change the rule if they want'
TO GO deeper into the debate Sowetan put some questions to Premier Soccer League Derek Blackensee, general manager football, of the Premier Soccer League and following are his responses to questions from Sello Rabothata.
Question: When was the under 23 rule first introduced in the NFD?
Answer: At the beginning of the 2011/2012 season.
What were the reasons/motivation then?
The rule came out of a recommendation from a sub-committee, broadly
- to assist South African football in general by having a professional breeding ground of young players;
- to avoid having many players "retiring" from the Premier Soccer League clubs to the National First Division;
- to attract sponsors based on this developmental policy being an attractive asset
Has it yielded any positive results?
Other than the sponsorship aim the other three have been a success in that the average age of the league is now considerably younger;
If so how and are there any examples of its success ?
- players are being signed by Premier Soccer League clubs from the NFD
- generally more attractive brand of football is being displayed by young, enthusiastic players trying to make the grade
Some clubs are complaining about it and want it scrapped what is the view of the PSL?
Clubs are free to propose changes to the rules which are voted on in general meetings.
If there is sufficient support the rule will be changed
Clubs believe it disadvantages them, especially when promoted to the elite league as they go in with inexperienced players.
Again, having tested the system for two seasons, the clubs are free to propose changes based on their experience
As far as the initial reason/motivation is concerned - is it a success or failure in the eyes of the league?
It probably requires more time to fully achieve the proposed benefits.
The league hasn't carried out a formal review of the system so I wouldn't want to express what would be purely personal opinions.