Football Queensland (FQ), in coordination with the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS), has established a full time training and playing environment for junior female players in Queensland.
The expansion of the QAS Girls program will provide three additional junior teams to support the QAS/BRFC Under 17s Girls team, the newly-crowned Champions of the National Premier Leagues Women’s (NPLW) Queensland (competing under the name BRFC/NTC).
The Under 13s, Under 14s and Under 15s QAS Girls teams will train three to four nights a week and compete an age group higher in NPLW competition.
The teams will also play in friendly matches against National Premier Leagues (NPL), Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) and Skills Acquisition Program (SAP) junior boys teams.
The announcement comes within a year of the establishment of the Brisbane Roar FC Academy for junior male players.
“This is a major step in providing a full time program for the most committed players, in line with FFA’s mandatory requirements,” FQ State Technical Director Gabor Ganczer said.
“The end goal is to ensure Queensland continues to nurture and develop the next generation of Queensland-based Westfield Matildas.”
Westfield Matildas coach Alen Stajcic, Football Federation Australia (FFA) Girls Youth Development Officer Debbie Fisher, QAS High Performance Director Troy Ayres, Brisbane Roar Women coach Mel Andreatta and FQ’s high performance coaches recently met with technical directors of NPLW clubs as part of the consultation process in developing the new program.
“I congratulate Queensland for making this leap forward as we need strong elite environments in each state to produce future players for our highly sought after Matildas team,” Stajcic said.
“For a nation aiming to host the Women’s FIFA World Cup in 2023, we have to lead the way in player development and the QAS was always a benchmark in doing that.”
Players have been identified by FQ’s high performance coaches in the 2018 NPLW junior competition and the National Youth Championships for Girls, held in July. NPLW technical directors have also had the opportunity to nominate their club’s talented female footballers.
“Football Queensland strongly promotes equality in football and this program now guarantees the same opportunity for male and female players in our state,” Ganczer said.
“All elite players will remain in our NPLW competitions playing an age group up and will also test themselves against junior boys teams on a regular basis.”
The best regional players selected for FQ Talent Support Programs (TSP) will have individual development plans, designed by a Regional Development Officer (RDO) in consultation with FQ’s high performance coaches.
These players will take part in QAS training during school holiday periods and also compete for state selection and play at the National Youth Championships for Girls.
Invitational trials will be held in early October with identified players will be contacted by FQ in the coming days. The QAS Girls football program coaching positions are now open for application.
Image: Football Federation Australia