It is a momentous day for South Melbourne and Sydney Olympic as both sides were announced today as part of the first eight clubs in the National Second Tier (NST).

Football Australia (FA) revealed the list of teams confirmed for the competition, which is set to commence in March/April of 2025, including the two aforementioned Greek clubs.

The division consists so far of five sides from NSW and three from Victoria, all of which were selected following multiple phases of the application process spread throughout this year.

FA stated their intent to pick another two-to-four clubs through a refined application process, with the competition to either operate in its inaugural season as a 10-team or 12-team league with two rounds plus a finals series.

In addition to the two Hellenic outfits, the Founding clubs include APIA Leichhardt FC, Marconi Stallions FC, Sydney United 58 FC, Wollongong Wolves FC from NSW plus Avondale FC and Preston Lions FC from Victoria.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson called the establishment of the NST a “transformative step for Australian football” that aligns perfectly with their 15-year strategic vision outlined in their XI Principles document.

“It symbolises our commitment to reconnecting the football pyramid and enhancing the competitiveness of our national game,” Mr Johnson said in the official announcement.

“Each club demonstrated not only their readiness in terms of operational and commercial elements but also their alignment with the strategic objectives of Australian football.

The FA CEO stressed that this represents much more than simply the foundation of a new league.

“This is more than just a competition; it’s a cornerstone in our mission to fortify the foundations of our sport. The National Second Tier will be instrumental in nurturing talent, engaging communities, and elevating the overall quality of football across the country,” he said.

The interesting question that emerges from this huge announcement is whether the other teams yet to be selected will be from outside NSW and Victoria.