The Wollongong Wolves are officially on the front foot for a push into the proposed 'National Second Division' - to begin most likely in early 2024 - with the club in attendance for a meeting held by the Association of Australia Football Clubs in Sydney.
The club has been in discussions with the AAFC since 2017. The organisation represents the clubs involved in the process of getting a 'National Second Division' up-and-running in Australia.
It is unsure how long it will take before promotion and relegation with the A-League would be installed, with the AAFC looking to ensure financial stability of the new clubs entering the new competition.
Wolves chief executive Strebre Delovski told the Mercury that despite the fact the club was in a battle with a number of clubs for a spot in the inaugural competition, he was confident the club's proud history would get them over the line.
"One of the first criteria discussed by Football Australia and part of the discussions is which ever clubs are participating, particularly in the first instance of the competition have to have some level of history associated with the club," he said.
Read more: Dos Santos shines for Young Matildas
The club has assured fans for an extended period of time that the club would be ready once they are given the green light to enter the 'National Second Division'.
On the pitch, the club has been making signings fitting of a team about to potentially enter the 'National Second Division'. Their new coach David Carney is a former A-League and Socceroos great.
The club has longed to return to the national competition since the inception of the A-League whether that being direct entry into the elite competition or through the 'National Second Division'.
Devloski added the dialogue between the club and the AAFC had been first class.
"The AAFC represents the clubs and the NPL clubs in particular fighting for a spot or showing interest to join the second division," he said.
"The full criteria is expected to be finalised early in the new year with an announcement on which clubs were successful in the middle of 2023."
The club has also recently re-signed Jake Lavalle, Senna Stevenson, Josh Macdonald and Nav Darjani for the 2023 NPL season.
Illawarra Sports Awards
The Mercury, in partnership with the Illawarra Academy Of Sport and presenting sponsor Illawarra Credit Union, is hosting the Illawarra Sports Awards, to be held on Thursday, November 10 at the Fraternity Club.
TICKETS: Purchase individual tickets or tables at https://events.humanitix.com/illawarra-sports-awards