Football Queensland have announced vital steps to enable the connection of the football pyramid in the sunshine state.
The creation of a transitional men’s third division, which will be labelled FQPL 2, will underpin a reformed NPL Queensland and FQPL structure from 2021.
From next year, the NPL reforms will also see a replacement of the Under 20 age group with a new Under 23 age bracket across the NPL Men’s, FQPL 1 and FQPL 2 competitions.
“These are positive developments for aspirational players and clubs and a direct outcome of FQ’s state-wide Future of Football 2020+ Competition Reform consultations and the related NPL Review,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.
“FQ has come to this exciting announcement after engaging clubs and the state’s many stakeholders during a six-month investigation, analysis and research process, which encapsulated national data highlighting the distribution of match minutes and age groups needed to support career progression.
“We have observed widespread enthusiasm in Queensland throughout this time for promotion and relegation within a connected competition model, a stated focus in our Strategic Plan.
“FQPL 2 is the transitional framework that makes this integrated ecosystem sustainable, giving clubs time to prepare and meet higher levels of standards and performance.
“It enables FQ to meet the Queensland football community’s strong demand for a conference-style approach that strengthens the pathway for aspirational players and clubs at all levels.
“Through promotion and relegation into and out of FQPL 2, clubs across Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and South West Queensland will from 2022 have the opportunity to compete for promotion into the new third tier and beyond.
“The end result is a fully connected pyramid which enables clubs to build capacity in a compliance environment that supports their development. FQ will continue its investigations into regional competition conferences as identified in the Future of Football 2020+ process,” Cavallucci concluded.