The members of the National Second Division Working Group held their first meeting at Football Federation Australia (FFA) offices in Sydney today.
Representatives of the Australian Association of Football Clubs (AAFC), Member Federations, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) and FFA were in attendance for the gathering which discussed the key design principles for the establishment of a national second division competition.
Caltex Socceroos and Australian U-23 Men’s National Team Head Coach Graham Arnold was in attendance to offer his perspectives on the positive impact a National Second Division would have on player development.
The National Second Division Working Group process is occurring in parallel with the New Leagues Working Group (NLWG) which will recommend an alternate professional league governance model. The recommendations of the NLWG will ensure that there is integration with a newly developed national second division. Judith Griggs, independent chair of the NLWG, was also in attendance.
FFA Director and National Second Division Working Group Chair Remo Nogarotto expressed his gratitude to those in attendance.
“On behalf of FFA, I’m delighted that discussions regarding the establishment of a national second division have now commenced. There was a real sense of energy and unity of purpose from those in the room to align the various tiers of football to create wider pathways for players, coaches, referees and clubs. I would like to thank all stakeholders that were in attendance” said Nogarotto.
Working group members discussed the principles that should underpin a second division, including financial sustainability, commercial opportunity, professional football standards and promotion and relegation.
“There is a lot of work to happen in a short space of time. That said, a lot of good work has already been done by AAFC, PFA and FFA which will allow us to more quite quickly. The next step is for the working group to compile a whitepaper which outlines the blueprint for a national second division competition in Australia”, said Nogarotto.
A smaller working group, comprising representatives from FFA, PFA, Member Federations, the Women’s Football Council and AAFC will now be tasked with compiling the whitepaper for presentation to the full National Second Division Working Group.