A National Second Division has taken a step closer to kick off with a new panel of experts brought in to finalise its timeline and structure.
Football Federation Australia has turned to state federations, players and clubs at A-League and NPL level for input on the key project as part of a new steering committee to breathe life into the second tier.
The committee includes Women’s Football Council Committee member Sue Crow, Football Federation South Australia President Sam Ciccarello, Football Victoria President Kimon Taliadoros, Newcastle Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna, PFA Chief Executive John Didulica, Australian Association of Football Clubs Chairman Nick Galatas and AAFC Treasurer Christo Patsan.
The FFA today revealed the committee met for the first time last week to start work on the second tier competition, currently dubbed The Championship by proponents in the AAFC.
It's aiming to fill the gap between NPL and the A-League's top tier and become a key part of the player pathway and development structure of Australian football.
With the FFA about to relinquish control of the A-League and its revenue, a new national second division is set to be a key focus for the governing body in the coming years.
FFA Director and committee chair Remo Nogarotto said the committee would lay out the framework for the competition to grow football’s footprint and "...be a significant step forward for the sport in Australia."
He added: “The first task of the Committee is to review the recommendations of the NSD Whitepaper, which was released in June and commence the task of drafting the competition architecture, including a budget, for the national second division, as well as consider an Expression of Interest process and timeline."
The committee will report back to the FFA Board in the coming months, with an Expression of Interest process expected to commence thereafter.
In addition to these members, Caltex Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold and FFA Technical Director Rob Sherman will be co-opted onto the committee to advise on technical matters.
Sherman said player development was pivotal for the future success of our National Teams.
“I’m looking forward to working with the National Second Division Steering Committee as we seek to develop the national competition structure,” Sherman said.
“A robust competition structure will provide a pathway for not only for players, but for coaches, referees and administrators which will ultimately mean Australian football will be better placed to achieve more success internationally.”