Former Saint Etienne player Florent Indalecio trialled at NSW NPL1 clubs during his time in Australia, working as a brickie's labourer in Sydney, but couldn't be signed due to strict regulations on foreign players in the second tier.

He was searching for opportunities to play football and stay in Australia, which led him to play a brief spell in NPL4 with Fraser Park FC, before a close friend - Newcastle United player Allan Saint-Maximin - secured him a trial at Newcastle United.


'It was terrible' - Kewell slams Oldham display

Harry Kewell has criticised his players after Oldham Athletic were beaten 3-0 by Stevenage, the club's third defeat in a row.


A-League's Adelaide being sued by former owners

A-League club Adelaide United are being sued for [553671].7 million by a company linked to former owner Bruno Marveggio, over money allegedly owed from the club's sale.

Indalecio has since been offered an extended trial and is courting favour across Europe, but he could have been playing in the A-League next season had scouts attended lower division NPL matches.

It shines a light on the lack of opportunities at every level of the Australian football pyramid, not just the A-League, which is particularly resonant given current debates over whether a national second division should have age and foreign player regulations.

It also bodes the question, how many foreign and native players are plying their trade - often while working hard manual labour - in the lesser NPL divisions and how many are playing in competitions in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, with only one small scouting network for the entire region.

As the A-League transitions towards a developmental style next season due to COVID and Fox Sports cutbacks, the quality of those scouting networks will be more important than ever, and yet will likely be the first to face cuts as clubs lose up to 75% of their revenue.

While Indalecio's story shows Sydney faces obvious challenges, with two professional teams for over five million people, former Melbourne Heart and current Heidelberg United star Adrian Zahra previously told FTBL the problem is even worse in Victoria - where NPL1 players aren't even offered trials.

“We probably have the best team outside the A-League in Australia and I think we’ve proven that in the last two seasons,” Zahra told FTBL.

“Collectively we’ve been really well balanced and everyone has contributed, so it’s been a good year across the whole board.

“I’m actually quite surprised players like Alex Schiavo, Andrew Cartanos and Josh Wilkins in particular haven’t had a sniff or even a trial. This year we’ve had no player get called up to trial with an A-League club.

“It’s sort of a bit of an injustice for our players and I definitely think we have some talent that could step up to the next level and should get an opportunity.

“A lot of NPL players get noticed more in New South Wales as opposed to Melbourne because there are more teams there.

“All those things get frustrating where you have to wait until the FFA Cup to get noticed and there’s all that recycling happens as opposed to giving an opportunity to new talent.”


Captain fantastic Wright says 'a weight has lifted off'

Bailey Wright's Sunderland have gotten off the mark in League One and the Socceroo says he is honoured to have been made vice-captain of the club.


Official: City sign talented A-League trio

Melbourne City have confirmed their off-season recruitment spree by announcing the signings of three players from rival A-League clubs Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United.


'No one is falling through' Young Socceroos talent rampage

“Look, we’ve got a lot of talent,” says Young Socceroos coach Gary van Egmond, as he oversees a plethora of Aussie talent streaming through the football gates.


Throughout a club crisis, Mariners youth are thrashing all-comers

While the Central Coast Mariners' A-League team enter crisis talks to prevent the club leaving Gosford, that Centre of Excellence they built is beginning to pay dividends in the NSW NPL.