FQ President Ben Richardson reflects on a pivotal year for football in Queensland.
Dear FQ community,
I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on what has been an enormously productive year for football in Queensland.
After the challenges of the past 18 months, we are proud to report that the game is growing across the state and the cost of administering football is coming down.
Despite the hurdles presented by the pandemic, participation rates continue to rise as we work towards reaching our strategic target of 90,000 participants by 2022.
We saw this growth reflected in the attendances at many of our major events throughout the year, including the Winter Festival of Football, the FQ Community Cup and the FQ Futsal State Titles.
Our aim is to capitalise on the enormous opportunities for football in this state while also addressing the ongoing challenges that face our game.
FQ is now at the halfway mark of a three-year journey of reform as we continue to deliver on the objectives outlined in the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan.
If 2020 was the year of consultation, 2021 has been a year of implementation as we make critical reforms to governance, administration, competitions and pathways.
We hit a critical milestone earlier this year when the Future of Football 2020+ constitutional reforms were passed with overwhelming support.
These reforms will allow us to take an important step towards the implementation of the ‘One Football’ model outlined in Football Australia’s XI Principles.
Ultimately, moving to the ‘One Football’ model will enable FQ to deliver best practice governance and administration delivering a lower cost of football for participants.
The reforms have already allowed FQ to reduce governing body fees for every participant and halve FQ team fees for more than 500 teams in community competitions.
With the 2023 Women’s World Cup on the horizon, FQ is investing in women and girls’ football from the grassroots to FQ’s advanced pathway programs and elite competitions.
From the rollout of Girls United to the launch of the statewide Kappa Women’s Super Cup to Australia’s first-ever female-only B Licence course, there are good things happening for women and girls in Queensland.
The Centenary celebration, which FQ hosted at The Gabba in September, was a moment to mark 100 years of women’s football in Australia and reflect on Queensland’s pioneering role in this remarkable story.
This state has long been the heartland of women’s football, from the very first public match of women’s football in 1921 to the current wave of Maroon Matildas such as Clare Polkinghorne, Tameka Yallop, Teagan Micah and Mary Fowler.
At FQ, we are proud that our pathways are producing talent for A-Leagues clubs as well as for the Socceroos and the Matildas.
Thanks to an incredible amount of work undertaken in 2021, from next season the new football pyramid will deliver connected competitions from the NPL to the FQPL 6 through a system of promotion and relegation.
We will also see the launch of the FQPL structure throughout regional Queensland, with the creation of the Northern Conference, the Central Conference and the SEQ Conference.
This promises to be a game-changer for Queensland football as we connect clubs and participants from the regions to the FQPL framework.
We can also look forward to hosting the 2022 Football Australia Futsal National Championships on the Gold Coast.
Underpinned by the launch of the F-League in 2021, this tournament will no doubt be a harbinger for a new era for futsal in this state.
With our reform journey now well underway, we are establishing the structures to ensure that our game continues to prosper.
Our pathway is stronger than ever, with opportunities opening up for boys and girls to reach their full potential, no matter their background or geographic location.
I want to thank all the players, coaches, referees, administrators and volunteers for working with us as we continue on our journey to unite Queensland through football.
Yours in football,