FOR the Mount Druitt Town Rangers, selection in Football NSW's Premier League elite two competition is equivalent to qualifying for the World Cup.
The Emerton-based club is on a high after it got the nod as one of the 24 clubs in Football NSW's 2013 elite one or two divisions following a competition restructure.
Its youth teams, up to under-15s, would have gone back to playing for the local association had the club missed out.
A relieved Rangers football management co-ordinator Scott Payer said the promotion came down to teamwork after a comprehensive submission had been lodged.
"We've been building towards this since the club started in 1970," Mr Payer said. "It shows we provide a very good program with the focus on football. It has involved a lot of hard work by a lot of people."
While the club is surprised about Nepean FC's unsuccessful bid (see page 3), Payer said Football NSW was clear in its criteria.
"We dotted the 'i's and crossed the 't's and got what we deserved."
The Rangers are among three clubs in the Blacktown area in elite one or two.
There's no representation from Penrith, Hawkesbury or Blue Mountains in these divisions.
"We are western Sydney based," Mr Payer said. "We don't see ourselves as Blacktown. We see ourselves as being on the border of the Penrith and Hawkesbury regions.
"I'm surprised and disappointed about Nepean, based on the youth players they have. We know how they feel as we missed out on being promoted last year."
As the club was back-to-back youth league club champion for the past two seasons, Mr Payer believes the quality of football will only get better.
"We were inundated with expressions of interest minutes after the announcement from coaches, players, all parties of interest," he said. "And not just from Nepean.
"There are western Sydney juniors who until now have had to travel outside the area to play in the elite levels and now want to play closer to home. We've retained a number of our players for next season but, in fairness, we can't show it to everyone. Some may not be up to this level and you have to do the right thing by the kids."
It was a double celebration for the Rangers with inclusion in the Women's Super League. Headed by Australia Matildas player and local Taryn Rockall, the program will start from under-12s through to women's.