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AFL Queensland today revealed a new look football structure that will ensure the continued development and growth of AFL in South East Queensland.
Following a consultative process between Allied Pickfords Cup and SEQAFL Division two and three clubs and AFL Queensland which saw clubs vote on their preferred competition structure, a Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) state league competition will be introduced for season 2014.
As part of the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) restructure 2013 NEAFL Clubs Morningside, Mt Gravatt, Broadbeach and Labrador were granted automatic entry into the QAFL competition while SEQAFL clubs were required to apply for a competition license
Clubs were assessed on the criteria of governance, facilities, brand and culture, past performances, finance and their strategic plan.
Not all Allied Pickford Cup Clubs chose to pursue the QAFL option including Mayne and Noosa and minor premiers Springwood.
The QAFL will include ten clubs: Morningside, Mt Gravatt, Broadbeach, Labrador, University of Queensland Red Lions, Sandgate, Wilston Grange, Western Magpies, Palm Beach and Surfers Paradise.
The headline QAFL competition will be underpinned by the Queensland Football Association (QFA) which will include a Southern and Northern Competition with ten teams in each.
Sitting under the QFA will be the Queensland Amateur Football Association QAFA (A) Division with seven clubs. This competition will feature both seniors and reserves.
The final tier of adult community football competition will be the Queensland Amateur Football Association QAFA (B) Division comprising three divisions - Southern, Central and Northern. This will be a seniors only competition.
Currently twenty teams are earmarked for the QAFA (B) Division competitions, however AFL Queensland will consider further applications.
AFL Queensland CEO, Michael Conlan, said the restructure was necessitated through the growth of AFL in Queensland.
“The game has grown at a rapid pace and we need to evolve our competitions to keep in line with that growth,” said Mr Conlan.
“We are really excited by the introduction of the QAFL and we are confident that we will see new standards of competition both on and off the field.”
Mr Conlan said the most pleasing part of the whole process was the level of engagement shown by clubs in reshaping the competition.
“We have consulted with clubs every step of the way and it is they who have held the power to decide what the competition would look like,” he said.
“We committed to an open and transparent process and the result is a structure that has been decided by the clubs, for the clubs.”
“This is a big step forward for Queensland football that will underpin the growth of our game for many years to come.”
Mr Conlan said that an announcement regarding the future of the Under 18 competitions would be made in the coming weeks.