Football Queensland has today confirmed the composition of the 2022 NPL and FQPL Junior Boys and Girls competitions.
The 2022 NPL Junior Girls competition will feature 16 clubs in the NPL Juniors. The Junior Boys will have 40 clubs in the NPL Academy, NPL Development, and FQPL Development, which after consultation with clubs now includes the Under 18 age group.
Due to substantial growth in the number of registered Women and Girls, the four new NPL and FQPL clubs – Brisbane City, Olympic FC, Virginia United and Peninsula Power – will also field U16 sides in 2022, one year earlier than projected.
The NPL Junior Boys Academy and Development competitions will play a full home and away season of 22 Rounds, before teams are split into groups of four for a three-game “like v like” series.
The 16 FQPL Development clubs will play each other once before clubs are split according to results into two groups of eight to play a further seven regular season fixtures, as well as a three-game “like v like” series.
FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said the structure of the Junior competitions was geared towards rewarding long-term player and club development alongside player retention rather than short-term results.
“As in previous years, clubs are placed in their respective divisions after being ranked by FQ’s well established grading process that includes a rigorous 81-point club assessment process undertaken annually by FQ’s Club Development Unit,” said Cavallucci.
“Boys and girls programs are assessed in exactly the same way, which has led to an outstanding improvement in clubs across the board particularly with some who sit in and around the silver rating with some achieving improvements of around 20% on last year.
“With the focus on development, movement up and down the advanced junior pyramid is based on an assessment that is heavily weighted to the quality of clubs’ youth development and pathway programs, with a smaller component that considers on field results from the current season.
“Clubs such as Olympic FC have achieved a 20% improvement in their assessment to increase their overall club rank to eighth when run through the grading algorithm that incorporates assessment and various other elements including points scored.
“This whole-of-club approach to junior football is continuing to lift development standards every year across the board, with the vast majority of clubs assessed this year registering strong improvements.
“This is an important development shift that rewards long-term player and club development rather than short-term results.
“Ultimately, we are working with clubs to create positive and sustainable environments for players aged eight to 18 across all teams in the advanced space.”
*Clubs in FQPL Development have been placed in alphabetical order.