[Images: Patrick Kearney/Football Queensland]
More Queenslanders than ever before will have the chance to play at a semi-professional level with Football Queensland today announcing a significant expansion of the state’s elite player pathway.
On the back of Thursday’s official confirmation of football as Australia’s number one club-based participation sport, Football Queensland has made an historic move to introduce a new 14-team second tier competition beneath the PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland.
Set to launch in 2018, the competition will be known as the Queensland Premier League (QPL) and will enable promotion and relegation between the state’s top two tiers.
PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland, which launched in 2013, will also be expanded from 12 to 14 teams in 2018.
The bottom two PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland clubs as calculated by the combined final placings of Senior, Under-20, Under-18 and Under-16 teams will be relegated each year and replaced by the top two QPL clubs determined by the same points system.
The groundbreaking developments follow wide-ranging feedback from players, coaches, parents, clubs, Football Federation Australia and further stakeholders and are based on the recommendations of a dedicated review committee.
Clubs across the state will be welcome to submit expressions of interest prior to a formal application process with 2017 marking the final season of PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland’s inaugural five-year licence period.
Football Queensland Chief Executive Officer Geoff Foster described the expansion as a landmark moment for the game.
“This is a major investment towards realising football’s potential in Queensland,” Foster said.
“Our sport is Australia’s number one choice for adults and children and we are striving to provide them with the best opportunity to achieve their ambition.
“The review committee examined several models for growth through the next licence period and has decided it is the right time to broaden the elite opportunities for participants and clubs.
“Strengthening the commercial potential of the game will also provide considerable benefits to the entire football community.”
In addition to gaining greater aspirational opportunities, junior players will also benefit from an increase in Skill Acquisition Program licences to 20 from 2018.
The chance to run a Skill Acquisition Program will be offered as a standalone licence and open to applications from all clubs and Zones throughout the state.
A review of the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Women’s competition will take place in early 2017 and will inform decisions on the final structure for the 2018 season onwards.
INFORMATION FOR CLUBS
- 2018 Expression of Interest Form
Football Queensland are accepting expressions of interest for both the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues and Queensland Premier League until 5.00pm on 31 January, 2017. Please read the below information packs prior to submitting an Expression of Interest.
- 2018 Information Pack: PS4 NPL Queensland Men
- 2018 Information Pack: Skill Acquisition Program