Football Australia provides update on National Second Division –

Tee Rasheed
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Home » News » New timeline revealed as Football Australia issues update on National Second Division
Tom Smithies
The introduction of the new National Second Division will be put back until March or April 2025, with Football Australia (FA) poised to reveal its founding members later this month.
The successful applicants were advised on Monday morning that they would be part of the NSD’s inaugural season but that the competition’s kick-off would be delayed until 18 months’ time to allow them to prepare for the commercial and sporting demands of a league to be pitched at a level between the A-Leagues and the National Premier Leagues (NPL).
On November 20, FA CEO James Johnson will reveal the number of teams expected to be in the NSD and their identities, once those clubs have signed the required documentation including bank guarantees.
The revised timing of the NSD is to make it complementary to the Isuzu UTE A-League and allow players from the latter to play in the NSD on loan during the A-League’s off season.
“This updated schedule will not only facilitate the finalisation of the competition structure but also grants all stakeholders sufficient time to finalise all logistical, regulatory, and operational aspects to guarantee a successful inauguration of the competition,” FA said in a statement.
“Furthermore, this adjustment provides clarity for the Member Federations regarding their competition structures in 2024.”
The NSD will initially launch as a standalone competition, with FA expecting questions of promotion and relegation to and from both the A-Leagues and the NPLs in each state to be addressed later.
While the exact format of the competition will be unveiled by FA on November 20, it’s expected that clubs will utilise a mix of full-time and part-time players, supported by a broadcast contract that FA is currently seeking along with new TV deals for the Socceroos and Matildas.
In its initial blueprint inviting clubs to apply for the NSD, FA had spoken of wanting those “with a deep connection and demonstrated history in Australian football to participate” in a league anticipated to have 10-16 clubs initially and comprise both a regular season and finals.
Football Australia will instead turn its attention to securing both the 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup and 2029 FIFA Club World Cup.

The clubs were advised that they would need to offer professional playing contracts for all players, paid for a a prescribed minimum number of weeks of the year, with full-time administration staff, an identifiable talent pathway and “access to a suitable high-quality match day facility 12 months of the year”.
An initial 26 clubs were shortlisted after submitting “expressions of interest” earlier this year, including a number of historic names such as South Melbourne, Sydney United and APIA Leichhardt.
It’s possible that more clubs will be added to the initial list announced on November if they are able to satisfy regulatory requirements before the competition kicks off.
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