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Strikers lodge A-League interest with FFA

NZN 25/05/2017 Vince Rugari

Twenty years to the day of their proudest moment as a club, the Brisbane Strikers have reaffirmed their intent to bid for an A-League licence and insist they will be at the forefront of the expansion debate.

The Strikers have filed an official expression of interest to join the competition after a positive meeting with Football Federation Australia earlier this week in Sydney.

It comes as the club marks the 20th anniversary of their famous 1997 National Soccer League (NSL) grand final victory - a watershed day for the sport in Australia.

The Strikers beat Sydney United 2-0 in front of 40,446 people at the old Lang Park, a then-record crowd for domestic football at a time when the NSL was battling for mainstream acceptance.

"(It was) a pivotal point in the evolution of the game in Brisbane," chairman Bruce Atterton-Evans said.

"Admission to the A-League will be equally significant for the club and the code.

"We had a good meeting with FFA - they know our position and we know theirs.

"From here, we will continue to work diligently and quietly on our full strategic plan, which will include a comprehensive consultation process with stakeholders and the community.

"Our bid is fully capitalised and we are ready to take our next step as a football club.

"I can assure our fans, and supporters of the game in Brisbane, that when FFA announces expansion plans, Brisbane Strikers will absolutely be at the forefront of that conversation."

After FC Brisbane City last month outlined a strong A-League bid, which includes the refurbishment and possible redevelopment of Ballymore Stadium, it appears they will have a fight on their hands as they seek to become Brisbane's second team.

Alan Hunter, the former Strikers' captain who believes the 1997 grand final had helped to "put football on the map", believes the time is right for a Brisbane derby and reckons his old club is the right option.

"The memories are always there," Hunter told AAP.

"It was awesome, great for the game. To us, it meant everything.

"The Roar have obviously gone on to have some nice crowds but the real point, statistically, is we need to get those crowds bigger without having a grand final.

"We need to encourage that so, if that means we get a second team at some stage so you've got a derby, hopefully that will happen. We need it."

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