Eight clubs confirm National Second Tier bids as Football Australia issues update

Football Australia (FA) has announced the Assessment and Review Phase for the proposed National Second Tier (NST) has commenced, with a handful of clubs confirming their bids.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) phase concluded with the target of a 2024 launch, though the FA did not disclose which clubs had made submissions after 26 teams had been shortlisted for the RFP.


Six teams have since announced their bids – at time of writing – including three from Victoria and two from New South Wales: NPLM VIC premiers Avondale FC, NPLM NSW premiers APIA Leichhardt, South Melbourne and Preston Lions, as well as Sydney Olympic and Sydney United.

With a March kick-off previously stated among 10-16 teams, the next phase will see each submitted proposal undergo a rigorous evaluation to ensure its completeness and alignment with the set criteria and requirements with help from accounting and advisory experts BDO as an independent third party to assist.

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Should those proposals be suitable, the FA will progress to the Completion Phase, which marks the end of the selection process.

“We’ve taken significant strides towards establishing a robust framework for the National Second Tier. The response and the submissions received are testament to the passion and commitment of the football community to this pivotal initiative,” said FA CEO James Johnson.

“Every decision we make during this process aims to guarantee that the National Second Tier is holistic, competitive, and adds immense value to Australian football. Collaborating with BDO assures our stakeholders of the process’s integrity and fairness.”

He added: “As we advance, our commitment is to the future of Australian football. Whether we finalise on the conventional league structure or adopt the ‘Champions League’ model, our vision remains clear – to elevate the stature of football in Australia.”

Football Australia continues to aim for a league of at least 10 teams across a home-and-away structure with finals. However, a ‘group based’ model mirroring the National Premier Leagues is being considered.

The original 26 clubs shortlisted

*= Confirmed bid submitted


  • Canberra Croatia
  • Gungahlin United


  • APIA Leichhardt*
  • Fraser Park
  • Marconi Stallions
  • Rockdale Ilinden
  • Sutherland Sharks/Cronulla Sharks
  • Sydney Olympic*
  • Sydney United 58*
  • Wollongong Wolves


  • Brisbane City
  • Brisbane United (Wynnum Wolves, Brisbane Strikers, Virginia United)
  • Gold Coast Knights
  • Gold Coast United
  • Olympic FC
  • Sunshine Coast Fire


  • Adelaide City
  • Football South Australia bid (Campbelltown City, North East MetroStars, West Torrens Birkalla)


  • South Hobart*


  • Avondale FC*
  • Brunswick Juventus
  • Green Gully
  • Heidelberg United
  • Melbourne Knights*
  • Preston Lions*
  • South Melbourne*