The purpose of the FFA-accredited club academies is to develop generations of better football players for the future. Clubs receiving 1 or 2-Star accreditation are recognised as having a high quality player development pathway in place.
The Brisbane Roar FC (BRFC) Academy is Queensland’s 2-Star academy where players train four nights a week and play in Queensland’s National Premier Leagues (NPL) junior competitions. The majority of the players are selected from NPL Queensland and Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) clubs and their Skill Acquisition Phase (SAP) programs.
The BRFC Academy employs full time coaches and their teams play one age group up in the NPL Queensland. The oldest age group, Under 20s, play in the Senior NPL Queensland competition between February and September and the Foxtel National Youth League from November to January.
A wide range of requirements regarding venues, coaching qualifications and program planning are in place for NPL Queensland and FQPL clubs. Football Queensland’s licence criteria and club technical audit aims to create an elite development environment, with players taking part in a program following the National Football Curriculum.
NPL Queensland and FQPL club trials are generally held in October and November, with the season held between February and September. NPL Queensland clubs’ FFA accreditation will commence soon.
9-12 years of age is the golden age of learning technique which FFA call the Skill Acquisition Phase (SAP). The focus at this age is on the development of game-related functional skills.
South East Queensland
Football Queensland awarded five year licences (2018-2022) to 24 clubs to run full-time SAP boys programs in South East Queensland. FQ introduced its SAP rating regulations for quality assurance to ensure licence holders are delivering their services at a consistently high standard.
Dependent on the qualification of coaches, coach mentoring, and the level of program and session planning, clubs can earn a gold, silver or bronze rating each year or fall into the non-rated category.
The team grading (league allocation) process is separate from the clubs’ SAP rating. This way all players and teams, based on their skill level, have the opportunity to access the two-tier SAP League (academy or development) determined at the grading carnivals.
In addition to SAP League games, FQ runs MiniSeries (three to four clubs at the same venue) and four carnivals each year for teams from both tiers to play against each other and showcase their skills.
Football Queensland has engaged five regional centres and clubs to provide SAP coaching for players in Wide Bay, Central Queensland (CQ), Mackay (Magpies Crusaders FC), North Queensland and Far North Queensland on a part time basis.
The Central Queensland, Mackay, North Queensland and Far North Queensland regional programs are part of the Quad Series and incorporate attendance at at least two regional carnivals, while all regional centres also have the opportunity to participate at the SEQ-based SAP carnivals.
The purpose of TSPs is to provide talented young players aged 13 to 16 access to a quality training environment which complements their club training. FQ’s Talent Support Program aims to develop players in line with FFA’s individual and team playing principles.
South East Queensland
Players can attend the TSP selection by invitation only. Football Queensland’s High Performance Manager requests recommendations from club Technical Directors at the beginning of the year and state coaches scout players at their NPL Queensland and FQPL games.
In South East Queensland, the Talent Support Program coaches identify a pool of 32-36 players in each age group. By mid-season, the Under 13 and Under 14 Queensland Metro state teams are formed to participate at the FFA National Youth Championships (NYC).
In regional Queensland, FQ has established Talent Support Programs in Central Queensland, North Queensland and Far North Queensland, while Under 13 to Under 16 players in Mackay are identified through the NPL Queensland full-time program provided by Magpies Crusaders FC.
The three regional centres coordinate a part-time representative program for the region’s most talented players under FQ’s TSP banner. Our regional centres participate in the Quad Series, made up of two regional and one Brisbane-based event, and the FQ Community Cup.
With the best regional talents showcasing their skills while playing against each other, the Under 13 and Under 14 Queensland country state teams are selected at the FQ Community Cup each year.