The PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues 2016 season is set to be the biggest yet with the inaugural PS4™ Player Pathway Award to give 24 aspiring footballers – including three from Queensland – a shot at a professional career.
The award process will see three players between the ages of 16 and 20 chosen from each Member Federation to attend a two-day training camp at Football New South Wales’ Valentine Sports Park.
One player from the 24 finalists will ultimately be selected for a two-week training trial with Sydney FC’s youth team.
“The PS4 Player Pathway Award is yet another significant step in connecting the second tier and the Hyundai A-League as it unearths the stars of the future and further identifies talent from across the NPL,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.
In addition to the PS4 Player Pathway Award, keen football pundit and FOX SPORTS presenter Adam Peacock will track the most promising players from each PS4 NPL competition in a special eight-part series called ‘PS4 Player Pathway Ones to Watch’.
“I am really looking forward to following the PS4 NPL talent as part of the Ones to Watch series because football is about more than just a sport – it’s about the players’ stories, the communities, the determination and the passion for our beautiful game,” Peacock said.
“There is no better place to capture this spirit than on the regional football pitches around Australia. The PS4 Player Pathway initiative is exactly what grassroots football deserves to ensure no talent slips under the radar.”
The award programme incorporates Australian football’s elite coaches and personalities, with the judging panel including FFA Technical Director Eric Abrams, former Socceroos skipper, NPL ambassador and Brisbane City coach John Kosmina, and Sydney FC Youth Coach Rob Stanton.
The semi-professional PlayStation 4 NPL this year enters its fourth season since inception, with 35 players the nation’s various competitions currently signed to professional contracts in the Hyundai A-League.
Michael Ephraim, Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia, says the introduction of the PS4 Player Pathway Award is part of an investment into the professional footballers of tomorrow.
“The PS4 NPL is widely recognised as the engine room for the future of professional league football in Australia,” Ephraim said.
“By introducing the PS4 Player Pathway Award we are offering another opportunity for players who have missed selection through traditional routes to follow their dreams into the A-League.”
The PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues kicks-off in Queensland on Saturday, 27 February.
CLICK HERE for full PS4 Player Pathway Award selection critera.