THE Joondalup United-National Premier Leagues WA soccer saga has taken another twist.
The club, which was promoted then removed from the state’s top competition, has been reinstated for the 2017 season with Football West announcing a 14-team competition.
But there may still be a battle yet, with rumours of established teams challenging the league expansion.
However, a Football West spokesman said the association had received no information about a challenge.
In a statement, Football West confirmed the premiership would be expanded to include State League Division One winner Joondalup United and runner-up Mandurah City.
United president Stephen Martin said the club was “ecstatic” that it would “rightfully compete” in next year’s season.
“It’s been a roller coaster few weeks but we feel that the right decision has been made to promote JUFC,” he said.
“Now we have had confirmation we have to get straight back into planning for next season and look forward to the challenges ahead of us.”
Joondalup’s initial NPL WA promotion for 2017 was revoked in place of Subiaco Amateur Football Club after the Lions threatened a legal challenge, claiming Joondalup had not met the criteria needed for a premier league club.
Football West’s latest decision allows both teams to compete.
United has also been involved in complications with its home ground for next season.
The City of Joondalup granted the club access to Warrandyte Park to meet NPL WA standards.
But strong backlash from current Warrandyte tenant Whitford City and its supporters had the council revoke the decision.
Joondalup councillors will consider the usage of Warrandyte Park at their December 13 meeting.