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Capital Football launch junior season and freeze registration fees on back of growth

Growing playing participation rates has seen Capital Football freeze registration fees this season and chief executive Phil Brown says further growth could lead to fees going down.

Brown announced at the junior league season launch on Thursday that Canberra will again field more than 500 teams as the game continues to grow.

"The last couple of years we've had consistent growth with 10 per cent last year and football is the largest participation sport in the country and in the ACT," Brown said.

Brown said he picked up the "general vibe" registration fees were an issue for Canberra's soccer community from chatting to people at games.

It's the first time in seven years Capital Football hasn't put up their registration fees for their men's and women's winter competitions.

First-grade men's and women's players in Canberra's premier leagues will pay a total registration fee of $220 for the 2017 season.


The Australian Sports Commission's AusPlay survey released in December revealed soccer as Australia's most popular club sport.

"There was an increase in players, we had a growth in participation. We also had an increase in our non-traditional revenue around corporate partners," Brown said.

"Then there was also an increase in funding from the ACT government attached to women's football and our W-League.

"Having to source money from players is obviously not the ideal and something we look to move away from in an ideal world.

"You get the general vibe when you speak to people around the grounds. The cost of participating in any leisure activity that they have they're concerned about."

He said Capital Football conducted a review of their structure, which had led to a change in the way they did things.

They'll continue to revue their fees every year and Brown said further growth in the game could lead to fees going down.

"We'll review out delivery model each year and have a look at how we think we can best provide services, and then review the fee accordingly," he said.

"In my previous time at Football NSW that didn't always result in an increase or a freeze, there were times where we found that because of the significant growth in areas of football ... that meant we could actually decrease fees.

"It's not necessarily about continuing a freeze for a freeze's sake, it's about looking at the best practice model we can and applying a financial model to that."

Soccer has bucked the trends of its rival football codes as its participation rates skyrocket and Brown's attributed the ACT's growth to W-League side Canberra United.

"It's considered by parents a sport that's not only fun and healthy but safe for young players and I think having Canberra United in the W-League provide role models and encourages young girls to seek out an opportunity to play football," Brown said.