NST Application Process

Football Australia continues Application Process for the National Second Tier Men’s competition. 

In February 2023, Football Australia invited all interested parties wishing to participate in the yet-to-be-named, National Second Tier, to respond to an Invitation for Expression of Interest (EOI).

The NST EOI Briefing Session was held virtually on Monday, 13 February. The deadline to register to submit an EOI Response was Monday, 20 February at 5pm AEDT, and EOI submissions were due on Friday, 3 March at 5pm AEDT.

The EOI process provided Football Australia with relevant information to assess the level of interest, and to refine the strategy, vision, competition format, operation, and administration of the National Second Tier.   

In June 2023, Football Australia issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to the shortlisted parties inviting the submission of detailed proposals. Additional information through detailed Bid Documents was provided to shortlisted parties during the RFP phase to assist with their formal detailed proposal.

This information during the RFP phase included an information memorandum, NST related data, including financial forecasts and benchmarking, key terms of a Club Participation Agreement, and draft transaction documents.

The Request for Proposal phase featured a confidential, interactive process to assist both shortlisted bidders and Football Australia to aid the development of high quality, well considered proposals and further refining the overall vision of the NST.

The RFP Phase concluded on 28 August 2023 and resulted in Football Australia receiving formal proposals from Respondents.

The Assessment and Review phase began immediately following the conclusion of the RFP phase. Proposals were reviewed and evaluated against the mandatory requirements and established evaluation criteria. This phase took place from August – October 2023. At the conclusion of this phase, Football Australia announced that the NST would commence in March/April 2025.

Football Australia conducted Phase 4, the Completion Phase, in November 2023. On 20 November, Football Australia announced via a press conference the eight foundation clubs for the NST: APIA Leichhardt FC, Avondale FC, Marconi Stallions FC, Preston Lions FC, South Melbourne FC, Sydney Olympic FC, Sydney United 58 FC, and Wollongong Wolves FC. 

In January 2024, Football Australia has extended an invitation to the clubs which submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) in 2023, to engage in an additional Request for Proposal (RFP) process to participate in the National Second Tier competition commencing from March/April 2025.  

Supporting information was provided to the clubs through Bid Documents released via an online portal. This information will assist each club in the development of a formal proposal and bid submissions which are due in mid-April. The Assessment and Review (A&R) Phase is scheduled for April and May and the Completion Phase will commence in June 2024. 

The remaining phases of the 2024 NST Application Process will be conducted confidentially, with Football Australia having confirmed that accounting and advisory experts, BDO, will continue to assist with the selection process.  

At the conclusion of the 2024 NST Application Process, FA will announce an additional 2-4 clubs to join the eight foundation clubs that have already been selected, ensuring the inaugural NST season format is comprised of a 10-team or 12-team home and away competition followed by a finals’ series.  

This page will continue to be updated with relevant information throughout the 2024 NST Application Process.