Two-time NSL Cup winners Brisbane City are putting a 'roller-coaster ride' behind them and hoping to continue developing players.
Two-time NSL Cup winners Brisbane City are putting a 'rollercoaster ride' behind them and hoping to continue developing players like Michael Zullo and Adam Sarota.
On the back of seven straight wins in the National Premier League Queensland, City sit second after 10 rounds.
The Spencer Park-based club are finally nearing where they want to be after what board member Pino Iacovella described as a 'flat spot'.
Founded in 1952 by Italian migrants, Brisbane City were a foundation club of the NSL, a competition they exited in 1986.
There have been multiple premierships, championships and Queensland Cups since their return - despite financial troubles.
"Like any club has its financial struggles, if you don't get sponsors or members are down or for whatever reason a particular year or couple of years, it can have an effect," Iacovella said.
"We've got a fantastic community of people that really pitch in, our volunteer base is fantastic and they're the ones that drive it.
"We're really at a stage where we've probably gone through a bit of a flat spot, being where we've been, playing the local Brisbane league and this sort of thing.
"The NPL probably came in at the right time for us to up the ante again and become a part of something that's quite new and exciting and people want to be involved in."
If the introduction of the NPL came at the right time, so did the upgrade of Spencer Park - a stadium which is over 30 years old.
People who had been at the club but stayed away for years are returning, and Iacovella - who has been involved with Brisbane City for over 40 years - is excited about potentially 'being part of something very special'.
FC Utrecht pair Zullo and Sarota both spent time at the club during their juniors, and City want to produce the future stars of the Hyundai A-League.
"It has been a rollercoaster ride through the '80s and '90s," Iacovella said.
"What we envisage ourselves being in the next five years is really almost like a feeder network to the A-League and developing players for the A-League because that's definitely where our strengths are at the moment.
"We're seeing kids at the moment who are in state programs at 12, 13, 14 years old and they're really developing quite nicely and we want to maintain that.
"We want to be developing those kids."
Few clubs would survive what City have on a regular basis, ignoring their uncertain future by adapting and welcoming change.
Brisbane City have approximately 46 teams, including juniors, and Iacovella believes the NPL will allow his club to produce future Qantas Socceroos.
"The NPL is a good stepping stone for us because we needed to be back in some sort of state competition again. It all gels in," he said.
"If you play in a good competition you can secure and recruit some good players, and develop some good players within your ranks as well.
"That's what the NPL is all about - it's all about development."
And with the old, proud club making their mark in Queensland's top flight and their sights set on development, they may be producing Australia's next generation of stars. Image: Ian Judd