Football Queensland is pleased to announce the release of the 2018 National Premier League (NPL), National Premier League Women (NPLW) and Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) first team competition draws.
The draw comes after extensive consultation with clubs and stakeholders.
The eagerly awaited announcement provides a cracking opening weekend in the NPL, with Brisbane Strikers FC against Western Pride FC, with the premiers to face the grand final champions at Perry Park, on Saturday February 3 at 6pm.
Pride’s NPL head coach Graham Harvey said his team are excited for kick off.
“I am really excited with the season ahead,” he said.
“Obviously this particular fixture throws together last year’s Premiers and Champions.
“I think it will be a good test of our young side to see how we cope with a new set of circumstances.
“As a group we have achieved a lot for players so young but now their challenges change.”
Brisbane Strikers manager David Large said his side are perhaps a little behind in preparation but eager to get started.
“We are expecting a tough game,’’ Large said.
“We are perhaps underprepared little bit due to the late finish of last year but we’ll certainly be ready for Western pride, who are a very good side, we know that from last year
“They’ve certainly prepared well. Graham Harvey, their coach, is one of the best in Queensland.
“I think the interesting thing is, with the changes to it (the NPL), it has certainly improved it. It will make it a lot tougher.
“It’s (the season) exciting, it’s an opportunity and if we can get it right it will improve football in Queensland again and give us the opportunity to test ourselves against some of the best in Australia.”
Two former National Soccer League clubs will face off, in Brisbane City FC and Lions FC at Corporate Travel Management Stadium, Saturday February 3 at 6.30pm.
Elsewhere North Qld United FC host Sunshine Coast FC, Redlands United FC face Moreton Bay United FC, Brisbane Roar FC Youth welcome SWQ Thunder FC, Gold Coast United FC travel north or Cairns FC and Magpies Crusaders take on Olympic FC.
Football Queensland CEO Geoff Foster said the draw has been put together with member clubs input to maximise efficiency of the competitions.
“We worked with clubs to ensure everyone was happy with the draw,” Foster said.
“This enabled clubs to manage their facilities, their travel and any other interests accordingly.
The NPLW kicks off with seven new teams entering to expand the women’s league to 13.
The first round will pitch NPLW newcomers Lions FC against Capalaba Bulldogs at Lions Stadium, Saturday February 3 at 6pm.
Mitchelton will take on Gold Coast United at Teralba Park, Saturday February 3 at 6pm. while Mudgeeraba SC take on The Gap FC, SWQ Thunder host Western Pride FC, Eastern Suburbs entertain Logan Lightning and Moreton Bay United look to beat Souths United.
Sunshine Coast Wanderers have the bye, along with their men’s team.
This year will be the first season of the Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL), which will act as the second division under the NPL and introduce a promotion/relegation to the Queensland football landscape.
Thirteen teams make up the FQPL and the opening round will provide some interesting clashes.
Peninsula Power, a powerhouse in their own right, take on Mitchelton FC at AJ Kelly Park, Saturday February 3 at 6pm in what will surely be an intense battle.
Capalaba Bulldogs and Wolves FC will also be a highlight, due to the proximity of both clubs, so too Souths United as their entertain heavyweights, Rochedale Rovers.
Elsewhere the Logan Lightning will look to strike Eastern Suburbs FC, Ipswich Knights host Southside Eagles, and newcomers the Wide Bay Buccaneers will face Holland Park Hawks FC.
“I am sure all teams will be ready to go and excited by the draw,” Mr Foster said.
“The FQPL is an exciting introduction, meaning more football and more opportunity for clubs to test and prove their abilities against the rest of the state.
“FQPL is also something I am proud to see the introduction of, as Football Queensland looks to the next chapter.
“We look forward to this season and look further forward to future years and continuing the growth of our sport.”
You can view all senior competition draws by clicking here.
Stay tuned for junior draws later this week.