Mid-week matches and first ever double header headline competition draw.The draw for the 2010/11 A-League season has been released today by Football Federation Australia.
The competition will kick off on Thursday night, August 5, with the newest franchise club Melbourne Heart hosting the Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
The extended weekend of football action continues on Friday night when Adelaide United take on Newcastle Jets and the colossal match up of Perth Glory v North Queensland Fury when Robbie Fowler and Ian Ferguson play host to the club that they left.
On Saturday it’s the A-League 2010 Grand Final replay when Sydney FC take on Melbourne Victory at the SFS and on Sunday the weekend finishes with the ‘M1 Derby’ with Brisbane Roar travelling south to take on Gold Coast United at Skilled Park.
The season culminates on the second weekend of March, 2011.
FFA can today officially welcome Melbourne Heart to an expanded 11-team A-League competition with an extra 30 matches taking the total season matches to 165.
While still fitting into a 27-week period the A-League 2010/11 season will see 30 midweek matches played in peak football and holiday periods taking on a more European style, continuing the development of the league into a professional and dynamic competition.
Melbourne Heart | Will kick off the new season
“This A-League season sees more matches played, more inter-city derbies, and more intensity in fixture scheduling to move Australian football to the next level in its development,” said FFA CEO Ben Buckley.
“This season sees our first genuine derby begin as Melbourne Heart joins the competition and will face off against cross-town rivals - A-League powerhouse Melbourne Victory.”
Buckley said this season’s A-League draw presented numerous challenges due to both an expanded league and the need for increased matches.
Some of the key changes include:
· 11 teams all playing 30 matches each.
· 27 weeks of football.
· An additional 30 games taking the total number of regular season matches to 165.
· Clubs play each other three times.
· An increase in the number of midweek matches.
· First ever-double header.
“In working through a myriad of possibilities we believe that we have produced a draw that is both equitable for clubs and exciting for fans,” Buckley said.
“Midweek fixtures have increased due to the popularity of weekday matches during holiday periods in previous seasons and for the first time ever the A-League proposes to hold a double header at the Sydney Football Stadium in Round 12.”
Click here for the full draw.
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