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

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    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.

    “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.

    The State of Origin teams for Game 1 of the 2018 series have both been revealed! Check out our expert reaction and analysis to the NSW Blues squad and the Queensland Maroons line-up.

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    The Crowd Says (30)

    • Roar Rookie

      April 24th 2018 @ 4:18pm
      Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

      This is what you would call a hygiene factor – international breaks won’t get fans coming to watch the competition, but it might stop a few leaving.

      So much for all the internet critics who said “it can’t be done” – it can and it has.

      • April 24th 2018 @ 4:42pm
        fadida said | April 24th 2018 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

        Now I await the same people moaning when the breaks come;

        “how are we supposed to get momentum?”
        “it’s been 3 weeks since we had a home game”

        • April 24th 2018 @ 4:43pm
          fadida said | April 24th 2018 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

          And how could I forget;

          “the season goes for too long now”!!!!!

          • Roar Rookie

            April 24th 2018 @ 5:02pm
            Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

            i’ll give you those 😉

            • April 24th 2018 @ 5:15pm
              Kangajets said | April 24th 2018 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

              What about international break for the Asian Cup ?

              Yes the season goes to long for 10 teams imo

              But depending what is most important
              Long season for players development

              Finish in March to suit people like me , who see the a league as a purely summer comp
              April to sept is npl Nrl afl etc

              Finish in late May and get swamped by every other sport and become even less financially viable.

              You can’t havre yiur cake and eat it too

            • April 24th 2018 @ 5:17pm
              Kangajets said | April 24th 2018 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

              What about international break for the Asian Cup ?

              Yes the season goes to long for 10 teams imo

              But depending what is most important
              Long season for players development

              Finish in March to suit people like me , who see the a league as a purely summer comp
              April to sept is npl Nrl afl etc

              Finish in late May and get swamped by every other sport and become even less financially viable.

              You can’t havre yiur cake and eat it too

              Further to this point , I’m totally in support of more games, they just need to play more midweek games .

          • Roar Guru

            April 24th 2018 @ 5:07pm
            Grobbelaar said | April 24th 2018 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

            It’s the goldilocks syndrome. Too early, too late, too hot, too cold, it’s never perfect.

    • Roar Rookie

      April 24th 2018 @ 5:23pm
      Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

      International breaks ✔️
      16 team Div1 & Div2
      Pro/Rel
      NPL to Div 2 pro/rel
      Loan System
      Transfer fees
      No salary cap
      No NCIP
      No VAR
      3+1
      Independent leagues
      Fan representation on Congress
      Futsal national league
      Expanded W League
      Women’s FFA Cup
      Free draw for the FFA Cup
      National Infrastructure Investment Program
      Socceroos and Matilda’s playing nationally

      There’s 16 more things we need, getting 1 done every ten years should see us done by 2180 🤪

      • April 24th 2018 @ 5:30pm
        Kangajets said | April 24th 2018 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

        By 2180. Global warming should have all the football fields covered in sea water ,
        , maybe every country will be in Oceania conference then .

      • April 24th 2018 @ 5:33pm
        Nemesis said | April 24th 2018 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

        I’m as much a part of the football community as you and I do not want all those things. It would be ridiculous for FFA to implement many of that list.

        In relation to VAR, that is an IFAB decision. 4 of the 5 major leagues in Europe are using VAR. VAR will be used at the World Cup.

        Why do we need a free draw for FFA Cup? Major cup competitions – World Cup, Champions League – do not have free random draws. The DFB Pokal doesn’t have free random draw.

        • Roar Rookie

          April 24th 2018 @ 6:03pm
          Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

          “It would be ridiculous for FFA to implement many of that list” … go on, which ones?

          • April 24th 2018 @ 6:12pm
            Nemesis said | April 24th 2018 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

            I find these ridiculous &/or totally unnecessary:

            Loan System
            Transfer fees
            No salary cap
            Fan representation on Congress
            Women’s FFA Cup
            Free draw for the FFA Cup
            Futsal national league

            Either 4+1 or 3+1 is being implemented next season.

            VAR is here to stay, unless IFAB withdraws it completely. Get used to it.

            • April 24th 2018 @ 11:01pm
              Buddy said | April 24th 2018 @ 11:01pm | ! Report

              I’m not convinced VAR is a permanent fixture. Only a week or so ago the EPL announced they don’t wish to use it still. They wish to observe the use in cup competitions and hope to see refinement and improvement. In Germany they look like they will riot on the subject – not happy. It is optional and experimental. I’d like to see some analysis at the end of the season. It may well be that it has improved the decisions made overall but it doesn’t come across that way…. anything but!

              • April 24th 2018 @ 11:16pm
                Nemesis said | April 24th 2018 @ 11:16pm | ! Report

                Regardless, VAR is an IFAB/FIFA initiative. FFA is not some lone wolf maverick going on this journey on its own. We have VAR being used at the World Cup tournament in June! Stop blaming FFA for everything.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 25th 2018 @ 8:55am
                Waz said | April 25th 2018 @ 8:55am | ! Report

                @ buddy

                Correct. VAR is an optional tool – not all countries have the ability to fund it (some don’t even televise all games or have sufficient cameras at the games they do televise so just can’t implement it).

                So VAR is not mandatory and the FFA can choose to implement it or not. It’s exactly the same as the extra official behind the goal, the laws make provision for it then it’s up to the local Association to decide whether to use it or not.

                If the FFA is listening to fans the evidence suggests the vast majority are against VAR.

      • Roar Guru

        April 24th 2018 @ 6:48pm
        Ben of Phnom Penh said | April 24th 2018 @ 6:48pm | ! Report

        Women’s FFA Cup would be a good idea as it could tie in directly with the regional women’s club competition the AFC are currently exploring.

        • Roar Rookie

          April 25th 2018 @ 8:57am
          Waz said | April 25th 2018 @ 8:57am | ! Report

          Agreed. And it’s what the women want as well, players and fans have expressed a desire to see this happen 👍

          • Roar Guru

            April 25th 2018 @ 12:25pm
            Ben of Phnom Penh said | April 25th 2018 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

            Given the number of clubs involved in the women’s state leagues there is sufficient capacity in terms of both players and clubs to make it an engaging competition. There certainly is the interest and it has the added benefit of increasing the number of competitive games played by W-League sides.

            • Roar Rookie

              April 25th 2018 @ 1:09pm
              Waz said | April 25th 2018 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

              Agreed. And it’s another differentiator on our code in what is becoming a marked battle ground for hearts and minds. We are in competition with AFL, Netball, Basketball, the two Rugby codes and numerous other sports to get girls/women in to our code and the romance of the FFA Cup has reinvigorated many of the teams below the HAL and I’d hope it would do the same in the women’s game.

            • April 26th 2018 @ 6:32am
              chris said | April 26th 2018 @ 6:32am | ! Report

              Ben the problem is that just about all of the players that play W-League play for an NPL club (in NSW this is the case).

        • April 25th 2018 @ 9:10am
          Nemesis said | April 25th 2018 @ 9:10am | ! Report

          The priority for women footballers would be to have proper change rooms at every community venue.

          Women’s FFA Cup. Give me a break. Apart from this Discussion, I’ve never heard anyone suggest this is a burning priority & an FFA failure.

          As a fan of the Women’s Game, my Top 3 priorities would be:

          1) Full H&A competition for WLeague
          2) Expand the WLeague to 12-14 teams
          3) Minimum individual player wage same as the ALeague; the market decides all other wages

    • April 24th 2018 @ 5:52pm
      Doran Smith said | April 24th 2018 @ 5:52pm | ! Report

      Hopefully this means more A-League players will be chosen for the Socceroos.

    • Roar Rookie

      April 24th 2018 @ 6:58pm
      Tom VDS said | April 24th 2018 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

      About time, common sense prevails! A step in the right direction from the FFA, need a few more to come! Removing the salary cap, a second division and more football on free-to-air need to be on their agenda, hopefully before 2180!

    • Roar Pro

      April 24th 2018 @ 8:21pm
      mrrexdog said | April 24th 2018 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

      Mid October is too late, the off season is already long enough.

      Aleague players won’t be able to impress to get picked for the September or October internationals and they’ll only get a couple of games to impress for the November internationals.

      Start the season late August or early September (preferably during the afl bye week before the finals)

      That way you get international breaks without congesting the fixture.

      You could also throw in a couple split rounds to accomodate acl teams as well as a stand-alone weekend for the FFA cup final.

    • April 24th 2018 @ 9:23pm
      LuckyEddie said | April 24th 2018 @ 9:23pm | ! Report

      So FOX made the decision. Why do we bother paying Gallop and all the other clowns?

      • April 25th 2018 @ 10:05am
        Nemesis said | April 25th 2018 @ 10:05am | ! Report

        It defies any common sense to think FoxSports are the ones driving this. FoxSports are the ones who have stopped this happening over the years. Now they’ve finally understood they were wrong.

        • April 25th 2018 @ 7:25pm
          LuckyEddie said | April 25th 2018 @ 7:25pm | ! Report

          Nothing in football at the top level (HAL) happens without the approval of FOX. It defies common sense that anyone could thing otherwise.

        • April 26th 2018 @ 7:07am
          Bob said | April 26th 2018 @ 7:07am | ! Report

          @Nemesis

          #ALTFact what proof do you have that Fox Sports have been stopping the FFA from introducing intl breaks? Your just making things up as you go along aren’t you!

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