Football Queensland (FQ) has taken essential steps to enable for the first time the connection of the football pyramid across Queensland.
The creation of a transitional men’s third tier, known as FQPL 2, will underpin a reformed National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland and Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) structure from 2021, and serve as a bridge for clubs between local premier men’s competition compliance and standards and the NPL and FQPL 1 divisions.
From 2021, the NPL reforms will see a replacement of the Under 20 age group with a new Under 23 age group across the NPL Men’s, FQPL 1 and FQPL 2 Men’s competitions, addressing the critical need to create much-needed match minutes for Australian footballers under the age of 23.
“These are positive developments for aspirational players and clubs and a direct outcome of FQ’s state-wide Future of Football 2020+ Competition Reform consultations and the related NPL Review,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.
“FQ has come to this exciting announcement after engaging clubs and the state’s many stakeholders during a six-month investigation, analysis and research process, which encapsulated national data highlighting the distribution of match minutes and age groups needed to support career progression.
“We have observed widespread enthusiasm in Queensland throughout this time for promotion and relegation within a connected competition model, a stated focus in our Strategic Plan.
“FQPL 2 is the transitional framework that makes this integrated ecosystem sustainable, giving clubs time to prepare and meet higher levels of standards and performance.
“It enables FQ to meet the Queensland football community’s strong demand for a conference-style approach that strengthens the pathway for aspirational players and clubs at all levels.
“Through promotion and relegation into and out of FQPL 2, clubs across Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and South West Queensland will from 2022 have the opportunity to compete for promotion into the new third tier and beyond.
“The end result is a fully connected pyramid which enables clubs to build capacity in a compliance environment that supports their development. FQ will continue its investigations into regional competition conferences as identified in the Future of Football 2020+ process.”
Clubs interested in applying for an FQPL 2 licence can email NPLLicencing@footballqueensland.com.au to obtain the information and application pack.
Applications will be accepted until close of business on Monday, 16 November 2020.
The FQ Technical team will assess all applications and provide recommendations for selection, with the successful clubs to be announced on 27 November.