Following the decision made by the Brisbane Roar yesterday regarding the withdrawal of their Junior Boys Academy, Football Queensland can confirm it is now in the early implementation phases of a full-time state development program for boys, to align with the successful FQ Academy QAS girls’ program in readiness for the 2024 season.
As an interim measure for season 2023, Football Queensland will expand the FQ Academy centre based in Metro Brisbane and evolve into a comprehensive part-time Queensland Boys State Squad program, creating two campuses in Brisbane Metro North and Metro South to improve accessibility of the FQ State Academy.
The Metro North and Metro South FQ Academy centres will link to Football Australia’s national pathway system and accommodate U14, U15 and U16 age groups, with up to 25 spots in each cohort and approximately 150 boys across both centres.
Identified players will play weekly fixtures in their club-based team, whilst participating in the additional Queensland Boys State Squad program with specialised training each week at the FQ Academy centres.
With nine centres providing training and development opportunities for Queensland’s most talented players, the FQ Academy is the state-wide talent ID program aligning the Queensland player pathway with Football Australia’s national development and Talent ID system, and linking junior players to Australia’s national teams.
Metro North and Metro South FQ Academy participants will have the opportunity to form part of Football Australia’s Elite Game System for national youth team identification.
Queensland’s performance at the National Youth Championships was a clear demonstration of the success of the FQ Academy, with Queensland teams making four out of four Grand Finals, and two teams becoming National Champions.
Due to Queensland’s successful National Youth Championships and with consistent performance and development in 2022, a number of players will receive early offers, while others will have a talent identification opportunity during the first phase of next season.
FQ Academy State Squad coaches will observe players within their club teams and at invitational FQ Academy training sessions. The FQ Academy Metro selection process for 2023 State Squad programs will be finalised after the first FQ Academy Carnival in April where FQ Academy club teams from SEQ and regional FQ Academy centres will participate.
Boys from the U13 cohort will also have an opportunity to participate as part of a larger identified player base, with carnival participation and a year-round talent identification process acting as the entry point and basis for selection into U14 the following year. All talent identification will take place over an extended period with data captured and recorded in the FQ Academy TID database of categorised players throughout Queensland.
Currently heading into its fourth year of implementation, the FQ Club Assessment process and its quality assurance systems measure over 1,500 best practice data points across FQ Academy rated clubs. FQ Academy clubs, in particular the GOLD rated clubs, provide exceptional technical environments for young Roar Academy players returning to a club to support their ongoing player development.
The FQ Academy Leagues (U13-U18) will provide three rounds of 27 competitive fixtures. In the U13-U16 teams this is complemented by FQ Academy elite games (5-6), FQ Academy State Carnival matches (6-7) and for selected players, Football Australia’s National Youth Championships games (7), totalling 47 games.
The elevated game program will ensure that players receive match minutes in a best v best environment and that opportunities are on par with international standards (44 games per season for academies at FIFA Top 20 nations).
All U18 club teams from the FQ Academy leagues will also compete in a new pinnacle ‘Queensland Cup’ competition. Forty teams in ten groups will compete to reach a knockout phase Round of 32 and continue through to the Final series. This will provide more opportunities for talented players from all FQ Academy leagues to be identified across competitions.