Football Queensland has today released the draws for the National Premier Leagues Queensland competitions - with a host of exciting opening round clashes in both Men's and Women's competitions.
The NPL Men's season will commence on Friday, March 5 in the Sunshine State with the Football Foundation Cup clash between reigning NPL Queensland Men’s Premiers Peninsula Power and newly promoted Logan Lightning.
The NPL Women's season kicks off a week later on Friday, March 12 as Olympic FC make their return to the state's top tier women's competition against newcomers Virginia United.
Amongst the opening round highlights in the Men's competition is a highly anticipated showdown between powerhouses Lions FC and Gold Coast Knights on Saturday, March 6 at Lions Stadium.
While Mackay-based regional outfit Magpies Crusaders United will make the first of many long trips to the Queensland capital to tackle FFA Cup specialists Brisbane Strikers the same night at Perry Park.
The opening round of the Women's competition will see a mouth-watering Grand Final rematch between 2020 Champions Lions FC and Logan Lightning on Saturday, 13 March at Cornubia Park.
While former Westfield Matildas stars Amy Chapman and Brooke Spence will start their season for Capalaba FC with a tricky home fixture against The Gap FC the same night.
This year marks the largest contingent of Women's clubs in Queensland's top tier state competition following the allocation of four additional clubs in the summer - including former National Soccer League club Brisbane City.
Football Queensland CEO, Robert Cavalucci, said the expansion of the women's competition was a strategic priority.
"2021 sees the expansion and restructuring of the NPL Women’s competition to strengthen our competition frameworks and pathways for women and girls as we build towards the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023," he explained.
He added: "This is a great time for the community to enjoy and celebrate a full season of football after uniting amid some challenging circumstances in 2020."
Feature image courtesy of Alan Minifie