63 Australian football clubs have met to form a 25-team advisory National Second Division group.
The NSD group will now advise FFA on the formation of a national second division, with the group to submit a final report to FFA by November 2020.
It's currently unclear exactly which clubs form the NSD, or whether the Australian Association of Football Clubs considers this to be a prototype second division group, with too many potential formats for a second division yet to be decided.
However, the AAFC is now speaking in terms of two groups: those who are actively interested in becoming second division clubs, and those smaller clubs who are instead seeking clarification over how existing conference-style systems will remain.
AAFC Chairman, Nick Galatas, told SoccerScene that steps towards a second division have taken monumental strides recently.
"Everyone agrees that NSD is no longer in the realm of ‘nice to have’ but a ‘must have’ as an important means of improving the quality and level of football, but also our credentials and viability as a football nation," he said.
"This isn’t about the AAFC going off and forming the division by ourselves, but as we anticipate the division will comprise mainly of member clubs, we are working to assist the FFA by providing insight and recommendations,”
The NSD group is seeking to have the creation of a second division complete by 2022, in light of FFA CEO James Johnson's eagerness to get the ball rolling on what a B-League could look like.
“Could there be a second-tier competition, with 10 or 12 teams that play 20-odd rounds home and away or do we look at a second-tier competition with conferences based in different states around the country that play half the season at state level and then end up playing at national level in a group stage, similar to how the Brazilian league operates,” Johnson recently told News Corp.
“There’s two parts to the season that starts at state level, then a qualification process that goes into a national level of competition.
“This is something we could look at because someone of our challenges in Australia are similar to Brazil – where you have competition that are strong at state level and you have a very big country geographically, so their solution was to use this sort of format.”
Galatas said that FFA are now in the driver's seat after a long period of stagnation.
“James has stated since day one that he is a strong supporter of forming a NSD, so we have no concern regarding the FFA’s willingness," he continued.
“We also now have a Board and senior management group at FFA who more football-savvy are and want to see a NSD succeed. That’s in sharp contrast to the immediate view when we launched our initial discussion paper almost three years ago.”