GUNNEDAH FC have welcomed the decision to scrap the Premier League in favour of new northern and southern conferences.
Northern Inland Football (NIF) announced the changes last week, in a move which will mean the Premier League will be disbanded.
Travel concerns for clubs was a major factor behind the decision.
Another benefit to the move was the new structure would provide opportunities for club's such as Inverell and Gunnedah the chance to play soccer at the highest level in the region.
Gunnedah FC's Michael Cooke praised the decision, saying it would be a "perfect fit" for the club.
"To be honest, I wasn't too surprised by the NIF's decision, because they do tend to do things a bit flippantly at times," Cooke told the Namoi Valley Independent.
"In saying that, I think this is a really positive change.
"For Gunnedah, this change will allow us to really match it with some of the best players in the region, which is pretty exciting."
FC enjoyed a successful season in 2019, winning the Tamworth District Football (TDF) first and second grade premierships.
"As Gunnedah FC, we have never actually competed in the region's top flight," Cooke said.
"However, in the three years or so we have been in Tamworth first grade, we have been really strong and at times possibly even too strong.
"I think a move into a top-flight competition like this would really help us improve against top-quality competition."
Cooke said the club's "next generation of players" stood to gain the most from the new competition structure.
"In a lot of ways this new move would be perfect for us," he said.
"Our travel times will remain about the same, but we will be taking on some of the best players from across the region.
"I think it will really help fast-tack the development of our younger players.
"We have quite a few young players who are just finishing school and are looking to stick around the town.
"The timing of this is 100 per cent right for them."
Gunnedah FC will now shift its focus to pre-season training and recruiting for the 2020 season.
"I think our coach Andy Cygan is looking to start training early in the new year," Cooke said.
"At the moment, I think we will be sending some texts around to see who's interested in playing next season.
"There is a bit up in the air at the moment in terms of player numbers and that sort of thing, but I think next season is going to be one of the most exciting for our club."