Gungahlin United has given Canberra a voice in the call for a national second division, becoming a foundation member of the Championship Partner Group.
The Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) has created a partner group involving 30 clubs across the country aimed at creating a new tier below the A-League.
Gungahlin is the group's only ACT representative, with president Neil Harlock saying they were keen to get involved and give Canberra's NPL clubs a seat at the table.
There are more than a dozen former National Soccer League clubs contributing, including including Marconi Stallions, Melbourne Knights, South Melbourne, Sydney United, Adelaide City and Wollongong Wolves.
The AAFC released its ambitious plans to establish a national second division by 2022 on Tuesday, with the partner clubs to help form any potential submissions to Football Federation Australia.
Harlock is unsure whether the ACT would have a team ready in that time frame, but says there needs to be some aspirations to join the second-tier shortly afterwards.
"The reality is, from our point of view, that's too soon for us. It's looking at what the best model is moving forward for NPL clubs to try and reach as far as they can in terms of football opportunities," Harlock said.
"Locally if that doesn't happen to be us but is another club, we've had some insight, say and input in how things should be shaped and presented. I see it as a win for the ACT, it's far better off for us to have some representation in these discussions with other clubs.
"There's some really good football club involved, that basically can help take shape and look at progression down the track."
Harlock says a local team in the Championship competition would also complement Canberra's prospective A-League team, in terms of set up and licensing.
Capital Region FC tabled a multi-million dollar offer to the FFA last month and should the bid be successful, the club would be ready to join from the 2021-22 season.
"If we can create an opportunity for players to come through and use the national second division as a stepping stone to potentially bigger and better things, I think from that point of view it serves its purpose," Harlock said.
The partnership group, who meet for the first time on Thursday, will now put together a final report on the competition's design for the "ultimate FFA board approval".
The development of a second-tier competition is already being considered by the peak body, who included it as part of their 15-year vision for the sport in early July.
Under the FFA's XI Principles, the fifth proposed an increase of domestic matches played at national level - such as creating a competition below the A-League.
"[It] would have a focus on 'home grown' and young players and reconnects the A-League to the other tier of Australian football," the document read.
It also stated the development of the NPL "should be considered in the context of the professional leagues."
Issues to be finalised by the AAFC include whether the competition will be on a national or conference-based format, when in the year it will be held and the hot-button issue of promotion and relegation.
AAFC chairman Nick Galatas said while the competition wouldn't involve promotion and relegation to and from the A-League immediately, that remained an overall aim.
"AAFC's view is that we cannot be properly considered as a 'football nation' without it and having it in place is our ultimate objective," Galatas said.
"While promotion and relegation with the A-League will hopefully occur (a) little later, we aim for it to start immediately with the NPL (National Premier Leagues) below."
The announcement of the plans comes amid a period of high uncertainty within the A-League, which is in the middle of a pay dispute between its clubs and players.
A start date for the 2020-21 campaign is yet to be finalised and a reduced Fox Sports broadcast deal also ends at the end of the next season.
Despite those concerns, Galatas believes the introduction of a second tier would help, not hinder, the game's financial position.
"Connecting clubs from bottom-to-top and top-to-bottom will help unite the game which will help it achieve its potential," he said.
"More football at a higher level is good for players, good for coaches, good for supporters, and gives sponsors and broadcasters more opportunity to be engaged in the game from grassroots to elite levels."
- With AAP