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  • Writer's pictureDeclan Mythen

The community club that dares: Fraser Park FC eyeing National Second Tier

Fraser Park Football Club are one of eight Football New South Wales member clubs vying for inclusion in Football Australia’s Men’s National Second Tier, set to commence in March 2024. As it stands, Fraser Park FC are the only aspiring club from FNSW not currently competing in the National Premier Leagues NSW. This anomaly raises the question: why is Fraser Park vying for inclusion in the NST? Front Page Football spoke exclusively with the Fraser Park FC Board of Directors to discuss the club’s unprecedented ambitions.

Fraser Park FC were crowned State League Men's champions in 2019. (Football New South Wales)

“Fraser Park FC has been encouraged to apply for the NST due to the club’s strong ambition to compete at a higher level and contribute to the growth and development of football in Australia," the Board told FPF.

“The club believes that participating in the NST will not only benefit the club but Marrickville and its community of players and fans.”

The Fraser Park FC Board of Directors were encouraged to list the strengths of the club's position regarding possible NST inclusion. They highlighted their desire to tap into the local Marrickville community and provide them with a destination club to become a prime development centre for future players.

“The club has a rich history and a fan base within the doorstep of the vibrant suburb of Marrickville, which, with the right conditions, could contribute to a vibrant and passionate match-day atmosphere,” the Board added.

“Fraser Park FC has significant infrastructure and land within 7km of the CBD that it can dedicate and afford future investment in a Centre of Excellence-type player development program, ensuring a high standard of facilities and nurturing of talented players.

“The club has strong community connections and actively engages in grassroots football, promoting inclusivity and fostering a love for the game among young players.”

Then Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visits Fraser Park FC in 2013. (Football New South Wales)

All of the aspiring NST clubs have their shortcomings. However, Fraser Park is confident in the club's ability to overcome theirs, confirming plans to open a newly licensed premise to correct a longstanding investment hole.

“Fraser Park FC’s only shortcomings over the years arise from the lack of investment in a new licensed premise,” the Board explained.

“This investment in the area (into a licensed premise) will not only overcome the financial shortcomings but also enhance Fraser Park FC’s activities in football. The club believes that this development, with a new Board, will transform the Fraser Park precinct into a football and community destination, supporting the growth and prosperity of both."

Fraser Park FC have never fielded a senior women's team; the Association of Australian Football Clubs propose that all clubs participating in the Men's NST must have a running women's program. The club does not consider its lack of a senior women's program a hindrance to its NST ambitions and has expressed interest in providing opportunities for women in the future.

Fraser Park is headquartered at facilities owned and operated by the Sydney Portugal Community Club. Indeed, the football club originally played as Clube Português de Sydney (Portuguese Club of Sydney) and was based in Paddington. Their grounds are located near fellow NST-aspiring sides APIA Leichhardt (4.4km), Rockdale Ilinden (7.1km), and Sydney Olympic (8.7km). When asked whether Fraser Park’s geographic location concerning these clubs would ultimately affect their NST prospects, the Board of Directors dismissed this notion as a non-issue.

“Some of the greatest rivalries in world football are of close proximity,” the Board rebuffed.

“Our understanding is that [the] geographic proximity of clubs vying for NST entry is not a determining factor in the selection process and that the evaluation will primarily focus on the sustainability of the business case, your football program, and the quality of your facilities.”

Fraser Park FC's headquarters. (Fraser Park Sports Centre Facebook)

Fraser Park FC is clearly aiming for a more youth development focus regarding their NST aspirations, as opposed to some other clubs, who may have their supporter base and viewership more at the forefront. The Board of Directors confirmed this focus by acknowledging that they view the NST as a professionally-run league providing more significant opportunities for Australian players. Fraser Park desires that the NST allows for a true footballing pyramid, eventually including promotion and relegation to and from the A-Leagues.

“Fraser Park FC stands resolute in its unwavering commitment to the realisation of its roadmap, which entails the construction of a state-of-the-art licensed premise and the continual enhancement of its already robust infrastructure. With an unyielding focus on the Fraser Park precinct, bolstered by strategic investments and the unwavering support of our esteemed sponsors and benefactors, the club is poised to seize potential opportunities that the NST may offer in the present or the future. Fraser Park FC firmly believes that this steadfast dedication will position the club as a formidable force, ready to embrace and thrive within the dynamic landscape of Australian football,” the Board of Directors concluded.



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Fraser Park FC was successful in the initial Expression of Interest phase of the NST application process and is now navigating the Request for Proposal stage, set to close sometime this month.

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