Football Queensland (FQ) has today confirmed it will introduce minor amendments to the National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland Junior Boys competition structure in 2021 to continue improving technical outcomes for all players in each age group.
“Football Queensland’s priority is to increase the number of match minutes played through a higher volume of games in like-v-like and best-v-best environments to drive strong technical development outcomes,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.
“To facilitate this framework, similarly to last year, the 2021 season will be split into two phases: the Competition Phase, and the Tournament Phase.
“The Pre-Season Phase has been removed in order to streamline and simplify the competition delivery process.
“With a minimum of 25 games to be played across the two phases, every single NPL Junior Boys player will have the opportunity to experience significant match minutes at a standard consistent with their development stage.”
As in 2020, the Competition Phase will see all teams divided into either the NPL Academy group that will include the ring-fenced ‘Gold’-rated Academies, or the NPL Development group.
The classification of teams as either NPL Academy or NPL Development at the beginning of the Competition Phase is determined by an algorithm built around two factors: the FQ Club Development Unit’s Youth Academy Assessment Score – which measures planning, delivery and development outcomes – and each club’s accumulated points total across all ages in 2020, with averages applied to ensure consistency.
Each team will play either 11 or 12 games against other teams in their group during this Competition Phase.
Once the matches are complete, finishing positions at the end of the Competition Phase will be used to divide teams into three groups for the Tournament Phase. Eight teams will be ranked in the top third, nine teams will be ranked in the middle third and eight teams will be ranked in the lower third and all teams will play each other twice.
The Tournament Phase therefore consists of either 14 or 16 games for all teams, bringing their total number of matches to a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 28 across the two phases.
“The outcome is a viable competition structure which creates more meaningful matches for players and drives development through like-v-like and best-v-best principles,” Cavallucci said.
“The FQ Club Development Unit’s Youth Academy Assessment Scores will be finalised and shared with clubs within the next few weeks as we prepare to confirm NPL Academy and NPL Development classifications, before the Competition Phase begins in early March 2021.
“FQ looks forward to communicating those groupings once that assessment process is complete.”