Football Australia (FA) has finally confirmed which eight teams will make up the inaugural season of the National Second Division (NSD).
Noted as one of the biggest days in football history in the country, the announcement brings football fans in Australia one step closer to an official promotion and relegation system in the top tier.
Three Victorian teams (Avondale, Preston Lions and South Melbourne) and five NSW teams (Marconi, Sydney United, Sydney Olympic, APIA and Wollongong) beat out 18 other strong bidders from across the country.
Seemingly due to logistical and financial concerns in the early stages of the competition, the FA is looming to keep the first couple of seasons between the bordering eastern states.
FA CEO James Johnson lauded the official announcement at a press conference on Monday Morning, whilst putting an emphasis on the continual growth of grassroots football across the country.
“Each club demonstrated not only their readiness in terms of operational and commercial elements but also their alignment with the strategic objectives of Australian football,” Johnson said.
“The establishment of the NST is a transformative step for Australian football, aligning perfectly with our 15-year strategic vision outlined in the XI Principles.
“While we may not connect the second tier to the elite immediately, what is important is for clubs that would like to hold on to players, sign contracts for longer periods.
“Which means an increase in value of the transfer value of the squad, there may be ways to align through transfer windows so the players can effectively make loans between two tiers.”
The FA confirmed in a statement that two to four more clubs could join the competition in the early stages of 2024 before the first season of the NSD in mid-2025.