Football Queensland (FQ) has seen a huge level of interest in a revised National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland Women’s competition following last week’s announcement of the roadmap to NPL Women’s competition reform.
“Excitement is certainly building around the women’s game as we prepare Queensland’s pathways for the legacy of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and it has been fantastic to see so many South East Queensland clubs committed to supporting the growth of the women’s game by strengthening their female programs,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.
“It was clear there is strong demand for a two-tier NPL Women’s competition with promotion and relegation based on extensive feedback from the NPL Review and Future of Football 2020+ consultation.
“After last week’s announcement of a revised NPL Women’s competition format from 2021, Football Queensland has seen an overwhelming level of interest from prospective clubs, and in the last week we’ve received 13 applications for additional NPL Senior Women’s licences.
“An NPL Women’s competition and second-tier FQPL Women’s league from 2022 will provide a more connected elite pathway for female footballers in South East Queensland while building capacity in clubs and delivering technical outcomes to allow for the sustainable growth of the women’s game.
“We have received a significant number of requests from NPL Women’s clubs to move players between age groups each season, so the revised age groups forming part of the new competition format will mitigate these issues and ensure club programs are sustainable moving forward.
“In particular, the amendment of the Under 18 age group to an Under 23 age group will align with the delivery of improved technical outcomes for players, unlocking better performance outcomes for footballers aged 17, 18, 19 and older who are not playing in the Senior NPL Women’s competition.
“This age group change was necessary to create an appropriate playing environment for the bracket of female players who were previously unable to participate in the Under 18 competition, and will ensure sufficient depth of talent to run a sustainable competition underpinning the Senior NPL Women’s and FQPL Women’s leagues.
“It will also allow for continued technical development and support for these players post Under 18, where previously they may have needed further development elsewhere before playing First Team NPL Women’s football.
“The requirement for NPL Women’s clubs to deliver Girls SAP programs will further strengthen the base of the Queensland football pyramid while introducing critical feeder squads to build capacity in clubs.
“While the revised NPL Women’s competition format will involve South East Queensland based teams, Football Queensland is continuing to explore new opportunities for regional clubs and competitions as part of the Future of Football 2020+ as we look to strengthen pathways for women and girls ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.”