One of Australian football's most recognised clubs, APIA Leichhardt are ready to submit an expression of interest to the FFA as talks of a national second division gather steam.
Financial backing, a purpose built football stadium and a commitment to youth development is what club chairman Jim Apostolovski believes will headline the clubs voyage to a potential second division place when the FFA call for expressions of interest.
The chairman believes the questions of capital, professionalism and infrastructure can be answered, despite details on the second tier yet to be released, and most likely agreed upon.
FFA CEO James Johnson is going to call for expressions of interest and use clubs financial capabilities as part of a criteria to complete the financial modelling of the new league.
Despite that, Apostolovski told The Mixer, "We are ready to go tomorrow."
"We've got an injection of funds that will support the running of the club in a second division, [the ownership model] will stay the same."
The club will be putting itself out onto the market in the coming weeks to pitch itself to businesses as a viable addition to an investment portfolio as a second division club.
The Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) estimated an annual budget of $2.5 to $3million would be adequate for the incubation period of the division, while the PFA players union estimates costs would be more than $5million.
Apostolovski is firmly aligning with the PFA saying he believes $5 million is the correct number and insists APIA can meet the costs needed to step up as a pro club while also remaining solvent.
"We'll be engaging with external consultants in order to present a serious portrayal of what we are about." said Apostolovski.
The question of space and stadia has constricted the conversation in Australian football. Apostolovski believes their home at Lambert Park in Leichhardt - with a capacity of 7,000 - is adequate for a professional club.
"Our first grade (men's team) would train at Lambert Park," said the chairman.
The white paper released by the FFA's National Second Division Working Group in June 2019 identified: "A National Second Division should consider smaller stadiums that provide an intimate experience for fans."
However it recommended: "As a guideline, this could include a minimum capacity of 5,000 and a maximum capacity of 15,000.
"As such, the National Second Division would be required to provide minimum standards for training facilities."
Therefore, questions may still remain around Lambert Park's viability with only 2,000 seats available as well as the synthetic turf at the ground the only place that houses APIA's men's and women's first grade and youth training sessions.
A second division has been seen as the anecdote to the bottleneck of Australian talent that plagues the national conversation.
Apostolovski sees youth development as the club's sole identity in a new league.
"It would be paramount, it's number one," said the chairman. "We are a club and will always be a club that has produced players.
"I talked about our APIA football programs, we have people that run those, pushing through the production line of players. At the moment kids are extremely talented, they move to the A-League for a better professional opportunity.
"If APIA had a second division setup, the kids wouldn't have to move, we have the infrastructure and the program, we have the opportunity at the next level.
APIA's interest will no doubt kick momentum up for potential second division candidates, but still, those interested will wait with bated breath for more details from the governing body.