2018-19 A-League draw released, now with added international breaks

Daniel Jeffrey Editor

By Daniel Jeffrey, Daniel Jeffrey is a Roar Editor


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    The 2018-19 A-League draw has been released, with clubs no longer facing the prospect of missing players due to national selection during international windows, with those breaks now incorporated into the schedule.

    However, the A-League will continue during the 2019 Asian Cup, meaning sides with Socceroos and other players picked for the tournament will have to make do without in January.

    The season will kick off later than in the past in order to accommodate the early-October international window, with Sydney FC travelling to face Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Friday, October 19 before a Melbourne derby between the Victory and City headlines Round 1 a day later.

    The Newcastle Jets will only have to wait a few weeks for their chance at grand final revenge when they play reigning champions Melbourne Victory in Round 3, and new Perth coach Tony Popovic will go up against his former side when the Glory face Western Sydney in the opening round.

    The season will once again feature a split round to accommodate teams competing in the Asian Champions League, and VAR will be a part of the A-League for another year, albeit from a new centralised facility.

    With the late start to the season and the newly introduced international breaks, the finals won’t start until Friday, May 3, and the grand final will be played a fortnight later on either the 18th or 19th of the month.

    Key 2018-19 A-League draw information

    • Opening round begins on Friday 19 October 2018
    • International breaks from 12-20 November 2018 and 18-26 March 2019
    • No breaks for the AFC Asian Cup 2019
    • Finals to begin on the weekend of 3-5 May 2019
    • Grand final on the weekend of 18-19 May 2019
    • Grand final re-match (Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory) in Round 3 (Saturday, 3 November 2018 at McDonald Jones Stadium)

    Key Rivalries
    Melbourne Derbies (Melbourne City FC v Melbourne Victory)

    • Round 1 (Saturday 20 October 2018 @ Marvel Stadium)
    • Round 9 (Saturday 22 December 2018 @ AAMI Park)
    • Round 20 (Saturday 23 February 2019 @ Marvel Stadium)

    Sydney Derbies (Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC)

    • Round 2 (Saturday 27 October 2018 @ SCG)
    • Round 8 (Saturday 15 December 2018 @ ANZ Stadium)
    • Round 25 (Saturday 13 April 2019 @ ANZ Stadium)

    F3 Derbies (Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets)

    • Round 9 (Sunday 23 December 2018 @ Central Coast Stadium)
    • Round 15 (Wednesday 23 January 2019 @ McDonald Jones Stadium)
    • Round 22 (Saturday 16 March 2019 @ McDonald Jones Stadium)

    Big Blue (Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC)

    • Round 5 (Sunday 25 November 2018 @ Jubilee Oval)
    • Round 16 (Saturday 26 January 2019 @ AAMI Park)
    • Round 24 (Saturday 6 April 2019 @ SCG)

    Original Rivalry: Adelaide United vs Melbourne Victory

    • Round 7 (Saturday 8 December 2018 @ Marvel Stadium)
    • Round 12 (Wednesday 9 January 2019 @ Coopers Stadium)
    • Round 26 (Friday 19 April 2019 @ Coopers Stadium)

    Fixtures played outside home cities

    • Round 4 – Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Brisbane Roar FC @ Glen Willow Stadium, Mudgee – Saturday 10 November 2018
    • Round 21 – Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets @ GMHBA Stadium, Geelong – Saturday 2 March 2019

    Anzac Day Fixture: Round 27 – Brisbane Roar FC v Adelaide United @ Suncorp Stadium – Thursday, 25 April 2019

    Round 21 will be a split round in order to accommodate back-to-back AFC Champions League Match Days 1 and 2 with fixtures scheduled as follows:

    • Week 1 (1-3 March 2019) – Clubs participating in the AFC Champions League 2019
    • Week 2 (8-9 March 2019) – No Clubs participating in the AFC Champions League 2019

    Broadcast info

    • Fox Sports will show all matches of the A-League 2018/19 regular season and finals.
    • Network Ten will broadcast one Saturday night match a week and every final live.
    • All 2018-19 A-League matches will also be available on the MyFootball Live App.
    Daniel Jeffrey
    Daniel Jeffrey

    Daniel is Editor of The Roar. You can catch him on Twitter @_d_jeffrey.

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    The Crowd Says (32)

    • Roar Rookie

      July 12th 2018 @ 12:33pm
      Waz said | July 12th 2018 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

      Looks a better draw than last year, just the one “TBC” fixture for Roar and reasonably even home/away and Friday to Sunday fixtures (way better than last year).

      I really like the introduction of the special ANZAC Day game at Suncorp Stadium, Fox must be delighted to have football -> AFL -> NRL back to back.

      • July 12th 2018 @ 1:41pm
        Melange said | July 12th 2018 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

        Roar recruitment has been good this year Waz, good quality and early buys. Must make you wonder why he didn’t recruit like this last season.

        • Roar Rookie

          July 12th 2018 @ 4:45pm
          Waz said | July 12th 2018 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

          yup, huge question marks over last seasons recruiting and who was making the decisions?

    • July 12th 2018 @ 12:39pm
      Conan said | July 12th 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

      This comp has too many teams in it. It needs to be reduced to 8 teams like the NBL. Mariners and Phoenix have to be removed. Only then may the quality rise to semi acceptable level. The proposed expansion is ubsurd.

      • July 12th 2018 @ 12:53pm
        Nemesis said | July 12th 2018 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

        Don’t like the quality? No problem. Don’t watch.

        I wouldn’t know if NBL needs 8 teams, 18 teams, or just 2 teams, because I don’t watch. Couldn’t care less.

      • July 12th 2018 @ 12:58pm
        chris said | July 12th 2018 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

        Can’t wait for the new season and the new expansion teams the season after.
        We need to get to 16 teams sooner rather than later.

        • July 12th 2018 @ 1:10pm
          Mark said | July 12th 2018 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

          Why 16? That number seems to have some magic significance only because it is the number of teams in the NRL, and was the number of teams in the AFL until their recent follies into the Gold Coast and western Sydney.

          Let’s get to 12 and make that work first.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 12th 2018 @ 1:14pm
            Waz said | July 12th 2018 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

            16 because it gives a 30 game season which is seen as optimal (30-34 games anyway). But yeah, let’s go to 12 and make that work

            • July 12th 2018 @ 2:23pm
              Nemesis said | July 12th 2018 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

              Could start with 2x 12 teams in Div 1 & Div 2.

              H&A = 22 matches

              Then the competition splits into:
              – Championship (Top 6)
              – Relegation (Bottom 6)

              Each team plays each opponent once more (home team is the team that finished higher on the table).

              Total = 27 matches.

              Plus, have a League Cup with only 24 teams from Div1 & Div 2. Not pure knock-out. Each team plays min 4 matches (one home match against Div 1 & Div 2). Top 8 teams into Qtr Finals.

              So, we’ll have 24 teams over 2 Divisions playing minimum of 32 matches each season.

            • July 12th 2018 @ 6:19pm
              Mark said | July 12th 2018 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

              That is a fair point, it is very neat for fixturing purposes.

      • July 13th 2018 @ 12:06pm
        Bilbo said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

        Spot on Conan

        With the quality of players around the country there is no way a 10 or 12 or 14 team league works

        8 teams would be preferable

        But it’s boring some will say, well no.. what makes it boring is the lack of talent that is spread to thin

        • July 13th 2018 @ 12:18pm
          Nemesis said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

          @Bilbo, if you don’t watch ALeague, how do you know what the quality is? If you do watch – that’s great.

          The truth is football draws the most talent of all team sports in Australia, so the football talent for ALeague is huge.

          By contrast, AFL has 18 teams drawn from a small pool of grassroots players, who have poor skills & talent in that sport. We know the grassroots quality of Aussie Rules is poor because the professional AFL clubs actively choose to recruit athletes who’ve played basketball, or Rugby, than choose choose players who’ve spent their lives living & playing grassroots Aussie Rules.

          The talent for Rugby, Aussie Rules & RL is drying up. Clubs are folding. In Tasmania the sport is dead.

          • July 13th 2018 @ 7:49pm
            Sam said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:49pm | ! Report

            More the reason why I found it mind boggling the decision by the FFA not to place Tassie A-League bid on the shortlist

            • July 13th 2018 @ 7:59pm
              MQ said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:59pm | ! Report

              IN truth, anyone who follows these things closesly knew that the Tassie bid did not have a snowball’s chance in hell.

    • July 12th 2018 @ 12:46pm
      jamesb said | July 12th 2018 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

      A-League season should kick off around late August. They did this in the early seasons. It’s also the final season as a ten team league. Thank f**k for that.

      • July 12th 2018 @ 1:08pm
        Mark said | July 12th 2018 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

        I liked that timing but it is not practical – it makes it impossible to select any A-League player in a World Cup squad, because they would not have played any competitive games for three months before the competition starts.

        • July 12th 2018 @ 1:40pm
          MQ said | July 12th 2018 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

          Didn’t stop Timmy Cahill being selected.

    • July 12th 2018 @ 1:10pm
      MQ said | July 12th 2018 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

      This is an important season for the A-League.

      We will be riding a high from the WC which has broken all ratings records.

      We are in the middle of expanding by two new teams which will take effect the following season, but we’ll have the buzz of the process permeating the current season.

      If all of that weren’t enough, the FFA is currently looking at spending its $3 million marquee fund on Peter Crouch, which would be a huge boost to the popularity and reputation of the league.

      • July 12th 2018 @ 1:43pm
        Melange said | July 12th 2018 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

        Have you seen Crouch play?

      • July 12th 2018 @ 2:16pm
        Redondo said | July 12th 2018 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

        Sarcasm noted MQ

        • July 12th 2018 @ 2:44pm
          chris said | July 12th 2018 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

          Not sure what he said but you’d think mr afl would be busy working out who’s going to make the top 6 in the AFL or busy cutting and pasting for his next wc instalment snore articles.

        • July 12th 2018 @ 3:34pm
          MQ said | July 12th 2018 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

          At least I wasn’t being disrespectful, unlike this interview by Leroy George to Dutch media:


          Ik werd direct goed ontvangen door die gasten daar. De spelers waarderen je vanzelf als je kwaliteiten hebt. Ik liet het meteen zien. Als er een middelmatige voetballer komt binnenlopen, werkt het natuurlijk heel anders. Ik vond al snel mijn draai in het Australische voetbal. Met alle respect voor de A-League, maar het niveau is niet heel erg hoog. Ik heb aardige goals gemaakt en lekker veel assists gegeven.

          That last sentence says something like: With all due respect to the A-League, but it isn’t a very high standard. I scored some golazos and had stacks of assists.

        • July 12th 2018 @ 4:17pm
          MQ said | July 12th 2018 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

          He’s also not very complementary about the way we hand out championships, and mentions how the Victory finished over 20 points behind the top team, but was able to win the championship on the back of a goal which should never have stood.

          However, he is very complementary about the manner which the championship was celebrated by the lads, saying they knew how to party, with festivities lasting a week:

          Het feest was er zeker niet minder om. Die jongens daar weten wel hoe ze een kampioenschap moeten vieren. We hebben een week lang alleen maar gefeest.

      • July 12th 2018 @ 2:19pm
        Redondo said | July 12th 2018 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

        If Sydney recruit Crouch I’m asking for a refund of my membership fees.

        • July 12th 2018 @ 3:13pm
          MQ said | July 12th 2018 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

          You’d miss out on the robot dance.

          • July 12th 2018 @ 4:38pm
            Fadida said | July 12th 2018 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

            He has to score first, and I can’t see that happening more than once or twice.

    • Roar Rookie

      July 12th 2018 @ 2:02pm
      Waz said | July 12th 2018 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

      I’m just going to leave this here, better Marketing than the ffa have managed, at least for awhile 😂


      (“I’ve got my boat license” 😂😂😂)

    • July 12th 2018 @ 5:05pm
      Raj said | July 12th 2018 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

      what the a league could do is create a system of relegation that ensures 2 teams in each of melbourne and sydney, 1 team in other capitals…

      What if the A-league or state governments owned the facilities in each state and whichever team makes it to division 1 gets access to those facilities…

      for example there could be 6 Melbourne teams vying for 2 places in division 1. If a division 1 team is relegated they move out of the state government facility and the replacement team takes over…

      It’s clear that some creative planning is in order to make relegation work for a competition that is moderately popular in a crowded sports market for a small population like Australia

      • July 12th 2018 @ 6:36pm
        MQ said | July 12th 2018 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

        I get you’re trying to propose something which is economically efficient, but in one sense, this constant search for fiscally responsible solutions (often proposed by administrators well versed in other sports) is at the heart of what we currently dislike about club football.

        • Roar Rookie

          July 13th 2018 @ 11:31am
          Waz said | July 13th 2018 @ 11:31am | ! Report

          Whose “we”?