The inaugural season of the Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) 2 kicks off this weekend, with eight clubs vying for promotion to FQPL 1.
The FQPL 2 was established to serve as a bridge between local premier men’s competitions and a reformed NPL Queensland and FQPL structure.
Only one team will be eligible for promotion this season and no teams will be relegated. In 2022, three sides from FQPL 1 will be relegated to FQPL 2 as the league expands to 10 teams.
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In 2021, the FQPL 2 will be comprised of six clubs from Brisbane and two from the Gold Coast.
Four clubs – Caboolture FC, Grange Thistle, North Star and Taringa Rovers – played in the Brisbane Premier League last season and are all expected to be strong in 2021.
Reigning Capital League 1 Premiers and Champions Samford Rangers are a team to watch out for after doing the double last season, while Virginia United are also making the big step up from Capital League 1 to FQPL 2.
Coomera Colts meanwhile join the FQPL 2 from the Gold Coast Premier League, while Carrara-based side Magic United will make their first appearance in senior men’s football since 2017.
With many clubs aspiring to rise to the NPL Queensland in the coming years, this season will see a focus on youth development as all clubs look to build sustainably for the future.
Moreton Bay rivalry – Friday night’s opener between Caboolture FC and Samford Rangers is sure to be a spicy encounter after the Rangers lost four players as well as their former coach, Terry Kirkham, to Caboolture in the off-season.
Youthful North Star – North Star might be one of the oldest clubs in the FQPL 2, but the Zillmere side enter the 2021 season with a youthful side. With one of the fastest-growing junior bases in Queensland, North Star‘s squad features five homegrown players and an average age of just 21.
Coomera rising – In 2019, Coomera Colts were the only Queensland club outside of the NPL Queensland to qualify for the FFA Cup Round of 32, and the club has been on an upward trajectory ever since. With former Brisbane Roar super-sub Henrique as player-coach, the Colts have an otherwise young squad with nine players under the age of 20.
Football Queensland commentator Campbell Johnson’s predictions for the 2021 season.
Premiers: Caboolture FC.
Champions: Caboolture FC.
Top 4: Caboolture FC, Taringa Rovers, Grange Thistle, Samford Rangers.
Dark Horse: Taringa Rovers.
Player of the Year: Sean Karambasis.
Golden Boot: Sean Karambasis (20+ Goals).
Players to Watch:
Cameron Crestani (Caboolture FC): A former QAS and Brisbane Roar product, Crestani has been one of the strongest players in Queensland over the past four years, winning a Premiership with Peninsula Power last year and earning selection in the 2020 NPL Queensland Team of the Season. A huge signing for Caboolture, Crestani will make the move from the backline into the midfield this season.
Sean Karambasis (Taringa Rovers): The Townsville midfielder has been a strong performer in Queensland over the past few seasons, earning selection in the 2020 Brisbane Premier League Team of the Year. Our commentator, Campbell Johnson, has tipped Karambasis to win both the Golden Boot and Player of the Year.
Henrique (Coomera Colts): A fan favourite at Brisbane Roar, Brazilian striker Henrique joined Coomera Colts in late 2019 and has already made a big impression on the Gold Coast. As player-coach of the Colts, 36-year-old Henrique will be looking to lead his new club to promotion in 2022.
Image: Ant Sartori