Football Queensland (FQ) has today confirmed the new structure for the 2020 National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland junior competition.
Representing a renewed focus on junior player development and pathways, the new competition structure supports the decoupling of the junior NPL Queensland and Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) competitions.
FQ Chief Executive Officer Robert Cavallucci said the new competition structure reflected FQ’s focus on providing better development opportunities for young Queensland players.
“We believe the new junior model will assist clubs in improving their development programs by assessing a range of important factors including the quality of technical staff, youth development opportunities, talent identification processes and recruitment pathways,” Cavallucci said.
“By continuing to strengthen the development and quality of our clubs, junior players will benefit from a positive environment and higher quality playing experiences, which is identified as a priority for participation in FQ’s strategic plan.”
The NPL Queensland junior competition has been developed following a three-month consultation process, with initial proposals presented to NPL, NPLW and FQPL clubs in August 2019, and the subsequent establishment of the Technical Working Group.
The new competition will bring an end to the FQPL junior system as the junior NPL Queensland and FQPL leagues evolve into one unified NPL competition.
FQ and the Technical Working Group have developed a new junior grading model including FQ club technical audits, which contribute to the ranking and positioning of each club in the new structure.
Technical Working Group Chairman and former Socceroo Jon McKain said the 2020 NPL Queensland junior competition structure had been developed based on three guiding principles; like vs like, best vs best and for the good of the game.
“Following consultation with clubs, the Technical Working Group was able to make recommendations based on best vs best and like vs like in order to provide the best environment for junior player development and for the good of the game,” McKain said.
“The new NPL Queensland junior structure will benefit young players as junior teams are no longer reliant on the performance of their first grade team.
“Instead, the performance of each club’s junior teams during the competition and tournament phases will influence the club’s ranking in the following season, together with the club’s technical audit score.”
The new NPL Queensland junior competition will run across three distinct phases throughout the season; the pre-season phase, competition phase and the tournament phase.
Based on the initial junior grading process and rankings, clubs have been allocated to three pools for the pre-season phase; Shield, Maroon and White.
Watch the videos below for an explanation of the new junior competition structure.