Ipswich's A-League football hopes receive massive boost
WESTERN Pride general manager Pat Boyle was appreciative but respectful after Ipswich's football franchise was named in the top 10 A-League licence contenders for next year.
The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) confirmed Ipswich and Brisbane City were the two remaining Queensland contenders after 15 applicants were trimmed to 10.
"It's business as usual. Things don't change here,'' Boyle said, focused on making the Ipswich region's A-League football quest a reality.
"We've still got a job to do.
"There's plenty up for grabs for the remainder of this year for all parts of our program.
"Success isn't driven by results. It's about developing.
"The most important key is it's about providing a pathway for the kids of this region and hopefully that continues.''
The FFA said two new clubs would be granted licences for the 2019/20 A-League season.
"We'll be receiving further information shortly,'' Boyle said, thrilled Ipswich was still in the mix.
"As you can see over the six years (Pride has been representing the Ipswich region), this place is going along nicely and certainly a credit to everybody involved,'' he said.
The other remaining applicants are South West Sydney FC, United for Macarthur (Sydney), Southern Expansion (Sydney region), Team 11 (Melbourne), South Melbourne FC, Western Melbourne Group, Canberra & Capital Region, and Wollongong.
FFA Chief Executive David Gallop said the process remained highly competitive.
"FFA's job is to get the best outcome for the Hyundai A-League and football as a whole," Gallop said.
"That means granting licences that will complement the existing Hyundai A-League clubs, link back into fans and the football history in their local community, help to develop football pathways for more players, increase interest from sponsors and broadcasters, have solid financial backing and operate sustainably.
"Expansion has created enormous interest and attracted 15 groups to come forward from around the country. Once we get these two new clubs established for the season after next we intend to add more clubs in future years."