Canberra A-League bid remains optimistic
Canberra appears to be the frontrunner to secure the next A-League license.
A bid from the nation's capital missed out to new teams in Melbourne and Sydney, but the ACT soccer community remains highly optimistic. Canberra was the only unsuccessful bid singled out by the FFA when announcing its expansion plans on Thursday.
"[We] continue to view Canberra as an attractive opportunity for potential future expansion," FFA chairman Chris Nikou said.
Canberra bid leader Michael Caggiano is taking significant hope from that declaration. A previous ACT bid fell away after missing out an expansion license in 2008, but Caggiano says that won't happen this time.
The Canberra group will recommence discussions with the FFA and its expansion consultants Deloitte as soon as next week.
"I think that line [from FFA], and that message now, is not if Canberra will be in the A-League, but when," Caggiano said. "They've clearly acknowledged publicly that there are credentials that Canberra will bring to the A-League."
A vacancy could open up as soon as next season due to the uncertain future of the Wellington Phoenix. The New Zealand-based team have been set targets by the FFA, which includes boosting crowd numbers.
But Caggiano said the Canberra bid group were not entertaining that possibility.
"Our conversations with the FFA are about when Canberra will be in the A-League," he said. "Our mission right now is to deliver on the promise we made to the Canberra community to bring an A-League team here."