26 Australian clubs advance to next phase of the National Second Tier selection process

Football Australia is pleased to formally announce that 26 clubs have successfully proceeded to the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase of the National Second Tier (NST) competition.

These clubs, having met the specific criteria outlined in the initial Invitation for Expression of Interest (EOI) phase, are now primed to engage in the next crucial step of the NST selection process.

The EOI phase attracted a total of 32 clubs from across Australia, each expressing a keen interest in participating in the NST competition. Football Australia extends its appreciation to all clubs that submitted EOIs and acknowledges their contribution to the sport in Australia. For the clubs that were not shortlisted, we would like to thank them for their commitment and encourage them to continue their pursuit of excellence in Australian football.

The RFP phase will involve the distribution of comprehensive Bid Documents to the shortlisted clubs, including an information memorandum, NST related data, financial forecasts, key terms of a Club Participation Agreement, and draft transaction documents.

This phase will be conducted confidentially, running from May to July 2023. It will be followed by an assessment and recommendation phase (July to August 2023) and is anticipated to be completed by September to October 2023.

The establishment of a NST competition forms a critical part of Football Australia's 15-year strategy for the sport, which is aimed at realigning Australian football competitions. The shortlisted clubs will play a pivotal role in shaping this future.

The list of 26 shortlisted clubs to participate in the RFP phase are:

State / Territory (in alphabetical order)

Club (in alphabetical order)

Australian Capital Territory

  1. Canberra Croatia FC
  2. Gungahlin United FC


  1. APIA Leichhardt FC
  2. Fraser Park FC
  3. Marconi Stallions FC
  4. Rockdale Ilinden FC
  5. Sydney Olympic FC
  6. Sydney United 58 FC
  7. Sutherland Sharks FC / Cronulla Sharks
  8. Wollongong Wolves FC



  1. Brisbane City FC
  2. Brisbane United FC (Wynnum Wolves FC, Brisbane Strikers FC, Virginia United FC)
  3. Gold Coast Knights F.C.
  4. Gold Coast United FC
  5. Olympic FC
  6. Sunshine Coast FC

South Australia

  1. Adelaide City FC
  2. Football South Australia


  1. South Hobart FC


  1. Avondale FC
  2. Brunswick Juventus FC
  3. Green Gully SC
  4. Heidelberg United FC
  5. Melbourne Knights FC
  6. Preston Lions FC
  7. South Melbourne FC

These clubs have been notified by Football Australia about their successful progression to the RFP phase.

Football Australia's CEO, James Johnson, commented on this significant development and the exciting journey ahead:

"We are delighted to announce the 26 shortlisted clubs for the National Second Tier competition, reflecting the passion and dedication that these clubs have shown in their pursuit of elevating Australian football.

“This significant milestone brings us one step closer to realising our 15-year vision for the sport, and we eagerly anticipate working hand-in-hand with these clubs to establish a thriving and sustainable National Second Tier competition.

“Together, we will shape the future landscape of football in Australia, offering new opportunities for growth and development while reconnecting and realigning our nation's football competitions," concluded Johnson.

The NST is anticipated to begin in March 2024 and will involve between 10 and 16 teams with a home and away league structure and finals, featuring 24 to 36 games. However, the possibility remains for Football Australia to institute a phased ‘group based’ model that will utilise the National Premier Leagues to decide the make-up of this format of competition (the ‘Champions League’ model).

For more information about the NST application process, please CLICK HERE.