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Feb 12, 2013

FA Cup style comp set for Australia

Australian soccer could have an FA Cup style competition by 2015 and a promotion-relegation system in the A-League within five years, according to Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop.

FFA paved the way for these exciting developments on Wednesday when it announced a restructuring of Australia's semi-professional state leagues to produce a national play-off series.

Gallop confirmed a report that promotion to and from the A-League could happen within five years but said the FFA didn't have a specific timeline on it.

He added that work was underway on an FA Cup style competition to be called the FFA Cup but said that wouldn't happen before 2015.

"I think we are all committed to an FFA Cup coming into fruition but we need to make sure the A-League is bedded down before we embark on such a big venture," Gallop said.

"But there is an appetite to do it and there's already people at the FFA working on it."

Under the new state league model revealed on Wednesday and to be phased in over the next two years, each state and territory will be run by the member federation but under the one National Premier League banner.

Their competitions will run from March to September with the winners to play-off in a knockout competition to find a national champion.

"It's an exercise of two years in the making. A lot of consultation of the stakeholders in the game but this is really a landmark thing for the development of Australian football," Gallop said.

"It means that our semi-pro state league clubs which have long been the engine room of our player development systems will have a fresh focus across the country."

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