Earlier this week, Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced that from season 2018/19 the Hyundai A-League will break for international windows.
The decision means that the upcoming season will start on 19 October 2018, slightly later than usual to avoid the international window earlier in the month. There will be two further international breaks, from 12-20 November and 18-26 March.
The later start means the finals series will begin in May with the Hyundai A-League 2019 Grand Final to be held on the weekend 18/19 May, 2019.
A club working group composed of Wellington Phoenix, Western Sydney Wanderers, Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory, facilitated by the FFA, made the unanimous recommendation that the League should break for the windows.
FFA chief executive David Gallop and Head of the Hyundai A-League Greg O’Rourke thanked the clubs and FOX SPORTS for their positive collaboration with FFA on the changes.
“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,” said Gallop.
“After extensive discussions with the clubs and with FOX SPORTS over recent weeks we have all agreed to incorporate the international breaks.”
For the Wellington Phoenix, the announcement is a positive change and one that the club has been working toward.
“As the club most often impacted by player call ups within international windows, we have been working for many years to have the A-League recognise FIFA breaks,” General Manager, David Dome said.
“We are thrilled about this development and the more level playing field this should enable for Wellington.”
FFA advised that the schedule for next season and information on a range of other initiatives being discussed with the Hyundai A-League clubs, FOX SPORTS and other stakeholders would be announced in due course.