Australian State Leagues - New South Wales
2004/5 Premier League

Written by Greg Stock.


Johnny Warren Cup Winners: Bonnyrigg White Eagles

Season Review

The 2004/5 Premier League season is arguably the most competitive on record with a new format and five new teams entering the fold. With the demise of the old National Soccer League Sydney Olympic, Sydney United, Marconi and Wollongong Wolves have all returned to the state league competition increasing the number of participating clubs to sixteen. Manly United F.C., the 2004 Winter Super League champions have also joined the league at the expense of Canterbury-Marrickville who were relegated at the end of season 2003/4.
The season kicked off in October 2004 with the running of the pre-season Johnny Warren Cup, the first time since 1997 that there had been a Soccer New South Wales sanctioned preseason cup competition. Previously confined to just four teams in 2004 and run by the St. George club as a fund raiser for cancer research, the concept was extended to include all sixteen teams divided into four groups of four teams. These four teams played in a round robin format for the first three weeks before the top two sides in each group moved through to the Quarter Final knock-out stage. The competition took on added significance with the passing of Johnny Warren on November 6th, the day before the semi-finals were due to take place at St. George Stadium. The final played a week later at Marconi Stadium, saw a number of Johnny's former teammates, family and friends gather for the match which saw his old club St. George defeated by Bonnyrigg White Eagles in an action packed final.

Currently the competition is into the later stages of the league, which isbeing conducted under a new format. The first round of fifteen matches has seen all sixteen sides play each other once with the top eight sides divided into the 'Champions league' and the bottom eight sides divided into a "Challengers league.' All eight sides will play another seven matches to decide the final table positions. Out of the five semi-final spots available, positions one to four will be allocated to the top four sides from the Champions League while the fifth or 'wild card berth' will be allocated to the leading club from the Challengers Group. All points accrued during the first round will carry over to the second round with the bottom three sides from the Challengers Group relegated to the Winter Super League at the end of the season.

Premier League Results and Lineups
So far the first six rounds of matches are available.

Round 1 Matches
Round 2 Matches
Round 3 Matches
Round 4 Matches
Round 5 Matches
Round 6 Matches

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