“We founded the group because we saw that there was a gap in the Italian community and we wanted to give people a space not only to play soccer, but to make friends as well,” Mr Trentino said in an interview with IL GLOBO last year.

The ambitious Italian moved to Brisbane from his hometown of Rome in 2013, completing his Master of Business and Marketing Advanced at the University of Queensland.

Meanwhile, Mr D’Orsa boasts a Master in Business Administration from the University of Turin, so it’s no surprise that with the combined skill sets of this duo, NIG has experienced resounding success.

The newly branded association now represents the only community football team completely owned, managed and played in by Italians.

Following its involvement in an extensive range of social and community programs last year, NIG has welcomed 2018 with an interesting line-up of projects based around the Italian community in Brisbane.

“Towards the end of last year we took some time off to think about the direction we wanted to pursue,” Mr Trentino said.

“Francesco and I felt we were doing the right thing, yet we were not sure about the right channels to spread our passion for football in order to benefit the wider Italian community in Brisbane.”

Mr D’Orsa added that the duo came into this year with “fresh ideas and a new energy”.

“We stepped up with the level of operations we wanted to undertake. NIG still has a strong social and community focus, yet we are treating it as a semi-professional football group,” he said.

NIG now features an executive board, marketing channels (such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and a website), not to mention the 27 Italian players who are supported by a range of Italian volunteers in different areas, such as field assistance, live social media operations, photography and more.

The group has also gained support from a range of Italian sponsors, including Bar Spritz, La Macelleria, Pizzantica and Mapei – the last having also sponsored the Italian national football team in 2006, the year they won the FIFA World Cup.

“As President of NIG, I am immensely grateful for the support of the guys who are now part of the executive board and those who decided to volunteer during our games,” Mr Trentino highlighted.

“This has given me peace of mind to focus on the marketing and promotional side of our operations. Having the support of important Italian sponsors such as Mapei and Bar Spritz in Brisbane means we are on the right track, and we will continue to aim higher according to our capabilities.”

The NIG team is currently playing in the Queensland Independent Football Championship and has collected three wins out of four pre-season games.

“We are a newly built team and this is the first year we have all competed together,” NIG coach Stefano Pantalone said.

“There are still many things to improve, but we have great potential and this is not only shown by the results we have obtained, but also by the quality of our individual players.”

With a team of committed players and volunteers behind it, it seems NIG is headed towards an even more prosperous future.