Albany will host arguably its biggest soccer week in history, after confirmation two National Premier League fixtures will be played at Centennial Stadium in May featuring men’s and women’s teams. Football West will officially make the announcement next week, but chief operating officer Greg Blycha confirmed a men’s NPL fixture and the newly formed NPL WA — women’s competition will be showcased in Albany on Saturday, May 2. The two premier fixtures will be surrounded by a week-long Festival of Football first discussed during Blycha’s visit to Albany last April. In a further boost to the significant soccer development in the region, Perth Glory’s national youth league team, which competes in the WA NPL, will be part of the visiting cohort. Perth Glory will do battle with Sorrento FC in the men’s fixture as part of round eight of the 2020 NPL WA. The NPL WA women is a new competition and Albany will host the round five fixture between Northern Redbacks Women’s Soccer Club and Murdoch University Melville Football Club. This will be the first time the NPLW has been taken to a regional area. Blycha said Albany deserved the opportunity to host NPL fixtures, in what will be a landmark event for the region’s soccer community. “We are really excited to bring the elite (National Premier League) competition down there in the Great Southern,” Mr Blycha said. “This will be part of a Festival of Football in Albany, which will include exhibition games, club development work shops, referee education, female clinics and regional football workshops. “The Great Southern football community has been really supportive of the Festival of Football and the NPL fixtures, as the Great Southern has a very healthy football community in Albany. It’s great to be out in the regions and this is the first time we have had a WNPL match played in a regional area.” The NPL men’s competition begins on March 14 and the women’s on March 20. Further details around the two NPL games and the Festival of Football are expected to be announced next week.