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Fans get their wish with A-League to pause for international breaks next season

Alex Brosque of Sydney, (centre), celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the round 1 A-League match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
Editor
23rd April, 2018
30

In an effort to keep the best players in the A-League on the pitch for the entire season, the FFA has decided to pause the A-League during international windows next season.

In years prior, there were times when Socceroos matches (and other internationals) would interfere with squad selection for A-League games. Given the competition struggles at times to get support, this settlement will hopefully lead to more views and consistently exciting play from Australia’s premier league.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon announcing the news, the FFA revealed the season will start on October 19th, 2018, a bit later than normal, to avoid the international window earlier in the month.

There will be two other pauses in the league from November 12th-20th and March 18th-26th. Due to the pushback of the entire schedule, the grand final will take place during the weekend of May 18.

In addition to the A-League, executives have been exploring a possible break for the W-League and its correlation with Matildas’ play.

The same thought process applies, as fans and teams alike are trying to keep their most prized performers on the pitch for the whole season.

“Given there are also two FIFA windows for women inside the W-League this coming season, we are also looking at the Matildas program and possible ways this could apply to the W-League calendar,” A-League boss Greg O’Rourke said.

FFA chief executive David Gallop praised Fox Sports for agreeing to the breaks in the season.

“With our broadcasters and commercial partners we have been conscious always of the need to balance the benefits of week to week continuity in the league against the benefits of stopping for international breaks,” Gallop said.

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“After extensive discussions with the clubs and with Fox Sports over recent weeks we have all agreed to incorporate the international breaks.”

Further details will be released pertaining to both the A-League and W-League in the future.