The push for the formation of a second tier underneath the A-League is growing, but in recent times there has been some push back.

Last week the Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) - an alliance of over 100 NPL clubs - met in Brisbane where three possible models of a second division were discussed.

Also on the agenda was representation at the Football Federation Australia (FFA) Congress, and a pledge to reduce the cost of coaching accreditation and playing for children.

AAFC also revealed they would announce their preferred operation model of a national second division in October 2017.

However not everyone is enamoured with the formation of an open league system.

Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) CEO John Didulica insists a second division should not be done on the cheap and must be run on a professional budget of around $5.5m per club per year.

"It's fine to dismiss that figure, saying 'we can't afford it' - but then you're not ready to have a fully professional second-tier competition," he told AAP on Monday.

But Papastergiadis, who last week was announced as South Melbourne’s inaugural A-League and W-League Board Chairman, believes discussion regarding a national second division must continue.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the more football we have in the upper levels and the more opportunities we create for our kids the better it will be for the product,” he told FourFourTwo.

 “You need to have a plurality of views and we need to be having this dialogue in the open about what football needs in this country.

“So the introduction of a second league in my opinion is vital, irrespective of what South does and whether it gets into the A-League or not."

Papastergiadis added: “Australian football has to have a second league and the A-League needs to stand on its own feet.

“The teams that are in the A-League now can’t live in a bubble. They need to be part of the complete picture and the complete picture is including the many other clubs in the country that deserve to participate.”

South’s intention to be part of the top tier of Australian football almost reached its zenith in May, when former Brazil international Roberto Carlos was announced as the club’s inaugural A-League coach if their bid is successful.

Papastergiadis was keen to point out that the World Cup winner’s brief trip to Melbourne created a buzz that went around the world.

“The coverage we had from the event where we announced our A-League bid at the Palladium went global and the response was amazing,” he said.

“It was reported in over 20 countries. That’s a good thing not just for South Melbourne but for football in Australia. Because you’re talking about football in Australia attracting some of the best and the greatest and that was an enormous success for us.

 “At the launch, we had the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews holding a top that says, ‘It’s Time for South Melbourne.’ We also had past great NSL players including ex-Socceroos with us on the night.

“It just reveals the depth of the history of the club and its importance to Australian football. The fact that we were able to get 500 people there in three weeks with very expensive tickets speaks volumes about the club and where it’s at.”

Picture source: South Melbourne FC