Explained: Play soccer abroad in Australia

Australia is well-known for its amazing weather and quality of living but when it comes to playing soccer in Australia, the country’s top flight league, the A-League, also attracts international interest. Players such as Dwight Yorke, Emile Heskey and Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero have all previously featured in the competition.

But did you know below the A-League, there is a thriving semi-professional soccer scene? Each state in Australia has its own highly-competitive league system with teams battling each other to be crowned the best team in their state.

Heidelberg United in action in the FFA Cup, one of the strongest state league sides

Heidelberg United in action in the FFA Cup, one of the strongest state league sides

The leagues include many local Australian players eager to impress as they aim to make the step up to the A-League but it also includes many players from the UK, the rest of Europe and the US who play abroad in Australia.

The appeal of playing soccer in Australia comes from the fact that the vast majority of players who head out to Australia, play soccer at a higher standard abroad and also earn a higher income. Add that to the amazing standard of living and superb weather and it’s no wonder Australia is the perfect destination for those looking to play soccer abroad.

Although the leagues may be officially semi-professional, the standard is very high and therefore clubs pay their players well in order to attract the best foreign players and those Australians outside of the A-League.

The Docklands Stadium where Melbourne Victory play

The Docklands Stadium where Melbourne Victory play

On the second-tier of Australian football sits the National Premier Leagues, which is broken up into eight regional leagues, largely based on the six states in the country. The leagues are highly competitive with former A-League players and the best players who play football abroad in the country. Players from open football trials and football academies also make it into the league.

The team who wins each regional league qualifies for the Finals Series where they then compete to be crowned the national champion. Last year Campbelltown City from South Australia were named as the national champions after beating Lions FC from Queensland in front of a big crowd in Adelaide.

Below the National Premier Leagues, each region has its own league structure with football clubs fighting to be promoted to the top divisions. These soccer leagues also include many players who play football abroad in Australia.

State league players compete against A-League sides in big FFA Cup matches

State league players compete against A-League sides in big FFA Cup matches

As well as the league competitions, the sides in the state leagues also get the chance to compete in the FFA Cup, Australia’s equivalent of England’s FA Cup. This competition gives them the chance to mix it with the A-League big boys and test themselves against the country’s best football teams. It also give state league players the chance to play at some of the best and biggest soccer stadiums in the country.

State league sides regularly give A-League sides a run for their money in the FFA Cup. Last year there were four state league sides in the quarter-finals and the likes of Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix lost to state leagues sides, showing that the level below the top-flight is very strong.

Soccer Smart have a proven track record of helping players play football abroad in Australia. Book a UK football trial today and it could set you on the path to competing against the likes of Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory. We have many options when it comes to semi-pro football trials.

Curtis Bateson, just one of the many players Soccer Smart has helped move to Australia.

Curtis Bateson, just one of the many players Soccer Smart has helped move to Australia.