THE NEWLY formed Redland-Victoria Point Sharks football club will make their debut in the QAFL against Surfers Paradise when the season kicks off in April.
The club is a merger between the Victoria Point Sharks and Redland Bombers, who joined forces after the NEAFL was scrapped last year.
The Bombers had been a part of the interstate competition since 2011.
The addition of Redland-Victoria Point Sharks and Noosa to the QAFL brings the number of teams competing in the 2021 season to 11.
Football manager Nic Aldridge said joining the QAFL was an exciting chapter in the club's history and would re-establish a pathway to the top level for junior players.
"We have one of the strongest junior bases in the state," he said.
"They (juniors) now have an opportunity to progress to the highest level in the state at their club without having to go to other clubs, (because) in the past we have probably seen that.
"Youngsters would get to a certain age and be aspirational about where they wanted to play their football and would move to other clubs of close vicinity that were offering the QAFL pathway.
"Now that we have got that, we've actually seen a few juniors return, which has been great."
Queensland state leagues competition manager Matt Bialkowski said the QAFL clubs would compete over an 18 game home and away season, with the grand final to be played on September 18.
"The profile of the QAFL continues to rise and we want to encourage people to come along to the games and support their local clubs," he said.
"All QAFL games are recorded and uploaded to the QAFL Vimeo page for the public to view, and one match of the round is live streamed every week ... "
The merger club will take on Surfers Paradise at home in their opening match of the season on Saturday, April 10 at 2pm before travelling to Cooke-Murphy Oval to play Labrador the following round.
The club will recognise its past throughout the year by wearing guernseys based on designs from yesteryear.
"What supporters will see is our home jumper, which is a replica of the home jumper from the 1980s," Aldridge said.
"Our away jumper is a replica of the Redland Football Club 1970s jumper, so that has been a really important thing that our playing group has been involved in.
"We certainly don't see this as the start of a new club, we see this as a continuation of the story of football in the Victoria Point region."
Aldridge said the playing group had transitioned seamlessly into life under the QAFL banner, with 50 per cent of last year's Redland Bombers list remaining at the club.
"With the NEAFL competition being shut down last year, we had seven Redland players join with Victoria Point players in the QFA competition," he said.
"We played in the grand final, so while it wasn't the greatest circumstances with the NEAFL competition being shut down due to COVID, we saw a glimpse of the two clubs already coming together."
Redland-Victoria Point Sharks play their home games out of Totally Workwear Park at 325 Colburn Avenue, Victoria Point.
Read more local sport news here.