ACE Women have been promoted – before a ball has been kicked in the 2022 season.
Under Football Queensland’s new structure, FQPL2 has been expanded to 12 teams, opening the door for ACE and Pine Hills.
Both were to be in FQPL3 after finishing third and fourth respectively in Capital League 1 last season. Only the top two were promoted.
However, ACE will now face Broadbeach, AC Carina, Robina, UQ, Eastern Suburbs, Annerley, Grange, The Lakes, Taringa, Ipswich Knights and Pine Hills in FQPL2, the state’s third tier.
“It’s fantastic we’ve be given this opportunity and we’re looking forward to testing ourselves again at a higher level,” ACE Women’s Coach Jamie Sanckson said.
“When I found out there was a chance of us going to FQPL2 it was exciting. The girls worked so hard this year and this is something the club has been aiming for.”
Senior Vice-President and Female Director of Coaching Greg Bradley supported the “natural progression” for ACE Women.
“It’s a good opportunity and one we were happy to accept after being so close last season,” Greg said. “This will be a new challenge, but one we are up for.”
There had been a hint an invitation to join FQPL2 would “become an offer” and Jamie wanted to ensure ACE was ready to accept it.
“It is going to be a step up in quality,” he said, “we are aware of that and I won’t need to remind the girls of our cup run last season.
ACE beat Premier League Grange (2-0) away and then fell just short (0-1) against unbeaten premiers Broadbeach in the semis.
“We need to build on last year,” Jamie said, “we will add two or three players to give us some more depth and we will give it everything we have again.
“We know all but one player (retiring) is currently returning so that shows the atmosphere around the squad.
“I’ll be heading into preseason with a group of players confident in each other and knowing how we like to play. That consistency is what we want as a club.
“We have players that want to be here – and it shows in the performances.
“Overall, it’s fantastic to see the women’s program heading in the direction that we want.
“I’ve said in the past, it was always a long-term plan. We wanted to build a culture and something that is sustainable.
“Now we’ve got the chance to prove ourselves at the next level and I’m sure we’ll do just that.”