This year has been transformational for football in Queensland as the game continues to unite behind a common purpose and shared direction.
Football Queensland rose to the ongoing challenges presented by COVID and for a second consecutive year completed all competitions and registered another rise in participation numbers.
In FQ’s 2021 Year in Review, we reflect on the milestones and achievements the Queensland football community has celebrated throughout the past 12 months.
Future of Football 2020+
In 2021, FQ pressed ahead with its ambitious reform journey that will unlock the immense opportunity and potential of the game.
In March, FQ published its Recommendations Paper outlining the proposed new streamlined administration model and governance framework which aligns to Football Australia’s ambitions for the ‘One Football’ model.
Following the release of the Recommendations Paper, FQ invited all member clubs to Implementation Workshop sessions to review the new governance model and to discuss the next steps of the reform process.
This resulted in the Future of Football 2020+ constitutional reforms passing with overwhelming support.
This milestone moment followed the establishment of three new regional offices alongside fresh naming conventions which better reflect their geography and strategic direction.
The nine regional offices are as follows: FQ South Coast, FQ Metro (North & South), FQ Darling Downs, FQ Sunshine Coast, FQ Wide Bay, FQ Central Coast, FQ Whitsunday Coast, FQ Northern, and FQ Far North & Gulf.
A considerable part of 2021 was spent working on competition reform as FQ worked towards its goal of connecting competitions and strengthening pathways for clubs and participants.
In March, FQ launched a new women’s competition, the Kappa Women’s Super Cup, which featured more than 50 teams from across Queensland.
The ground-breaking new competition saw the final four clubs hailing from Brisbane, Ipswich and Townsville, with Lions FC prevailing over Western Pride in the final.
This year also saw the expansion and restructure of the NPL Women’s competition as FQ launched the FQPL, a new division which sits underneath the NPL and provides a pathway for aspirational players, coaches and clubs.
Likewise, the very first season of the FQPL 2 Men kicked off in March, with the competition serving as a bridge between local Premier Men’s competitions and a reformed NPL Queensland and FQPL structure.
From next season, the new football pyramid will deliver connected competitions from the NPL to the FQPL 6 through a system of promotion and relegation.
2022 will also see the launch of the FQPL structure throughout regional Queensland, with the creation of the Northern Conference, the Central Conference and the SEQ Conference.
This promises to be a game-changer for Queensland football, connecting clubs and participants from the regions to the FQPL framework.
A New Era for Futsal
2021 was also a decisive year for futsal in Queensland as FQ launched the inaugural season of the F-League, a new competition featuring teams from Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast.
In October, a record number of teams from across Queensland participated in the FQ State Futsal Titles at venues in Brisbane, Logan and the Gold Coast.
FQ also won the right to host the 2022 Football Australia National Futsal Championships, which is set to kick off in April.
In July, FQ recognised the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to football during Indigenous Round, which coincided with NAIDOC Week celebrations.
In July, FQ in partnership with Logan City Council hosted the inaugural Winter Festival of Football, a four-day extravaganza of Queensland’s most popular participation sport.
Despite the hurdles presented by wet weather and COVID lockdowns, WinterFest was a resounding success as participants got involved in MiniRoos holiday clinics, coaching courses, Walking Football Come & Try sessions and the SAP State Carnival.
Outback Road Trip
In August, a team of FQ and Football Australia development officers embarked on a seven-day Outback Road Trip to promote football in North West Queensland.
Stopping in at Longreach, Winton, Julia Creek, Cloncurry and Mount Isa, FQ team members delivered Walking Football, futsal and MiniRoos Come & Try sessions.
In September, Football Queensland celebrated the past, present and future of the women’s game in Australia at a gala event to mark 100 years of women’s football.
Held at The Gabba, the site of the first public game of women’s football in 1921, the celebrations kicked off with a re-enactment match involving players from the QAS.
In keeping with the ‘Past, Present, Future’ theme, Junior Matildas Head Coach Rae Dower hosted three fascinating panel discussions involving various prominent football identities including Chief Operating Officer of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Jane Fernandez.
Video messages were shown from Football Australia CEO James Johnson, Commonwealth Bank Matildas Head Coach Tony Gustavsson and current Matildas Clare Polkinghorne, Sam Kerr and Steph Catley.
Football Queensland hosted a record number of courses and workshops as the number of registered coaches increased by 41 percent since 2019.
Throughout the year, FQ delivered 17 advanced coaching courses as hundreds of coaches from across Queensland undertook A, B or C Licence courses from Gold Coast to Cairns.
FQ also hosted Queensland’s first-ever A Licence course and Australia’s first female-only B Licence course.
FQ is on track to reach its strategic target of 1603 referees by 2022, with a 37% increase in registrations and 55% growth in registered female referees this year.
This growth was facilitated by the introduction of seven Referee Coach and Development Officers state-wide, a buddy system for junior referees, and new assessor and mentor ID tags as part of the ‘No Badge, No Bench, No Ref Room’ policy.
Football Queensland’s digital broadcast reach continued to expand in 2021 as more than 390,000 unique viewers tuned into 711 games broadcast live and on-demand.
The number of unique viewers increased by 180 percent in 2021, while the NPL Queensland Women’s competition saw a 187 percent increase in viewership.
FQ also record strong growth in views for its website and social media sites as football fans flocked to FQ channels for local content.
FQ has unveiled new partnerships and maintained existing relationships in 2021, with VEO Technologies becoming FQ’s preferred autonomous camera provider and Cluey Learning joining as FQ’s official tutoring partner.
Nike continued to be the official match ball of Queensland competitions via FQ’s partnership with Ultra Football.
It was another productive year for FQ’s QAS women’s football program as the QAS Head Coach, Garrath McPherson, signed on as Head Coach of Brisbane Roar Women for the 2021-22 Liberty A-League season.
Cairns goalkeeper Mia Bailey, who won the 2021 Sue Monteath Award for the QAS Player of the Year, signed for the Roar alongside recent QAS graduates such as Jamilla Rankin and Holly McQueen.
Kappa Festival of Football
The year ended in style as the NPL All Stars Men’s and Women’s sides defeated Brisbane Roar in an action-packed double header at Perry Park on 13 November.
The NPL All Stars Men’s side beat the Roar Men 3-2 after goals from Moreton Bay United’s Ryo Ono and Roar Academy products Keegan Jelacic and Eli Adams.
The NPL All Stars Women’s side then made it two from two as Lions FC sharpshooters Tegan Riding and Amy Gunston both scored to secure a 2-1 victory over the Roar Women.