The A-League is set to return with an incredible extravaganza of 32 games in 39 days for football-starved fans when the season resumes in a fortnight.
It will have been 115 days between drinks when the competition is reignited with a Melbourne derby between Victory and Western United on July 16, kicking off an unprecedented bonanza of action.
After extensive negotiations, times and dates for all fixtures have been locked in – with the grand final set to take place on August 23.
However the glaring omissions from the fixture list released on Wednesday is that of venues throughout.
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A NSW hub will host the vast majority of games, with the season reopening Melbourne derby – set to be played at AAMI Park – a rare exception.
The remaining 27 games of the regular season will be squeezed into a 28-day period, with just one football-free day.
Further, United will again be in action on July 20 – four days after their first derby – against Melbourne City, again likely at AAMI Park before the three Victorian clubs head to NSW to complete their season due to border and quarantine implications caused by COVID-19.
Leaders Sydney FC are set to host Wellington Phoenix, currently in quarantine in NSW, on July 17.
A champion will be crowned this season. Picture: Cameron Spencer/GettySource:Getty Images
The Phoenix and Perth Glory will play the remainder of their matches in NSW, with the Glory set to restart their campaign on July 18 against Central Coast Mariners.
Brisbane Roar will host Adelaide United on July 19, possibly at Gold Coast venue Cbus Super Stadium rather than Suncorp Stadium, before both teams head to NSW to finish their season.
The schedule will remain fluid and be subject to change.
BELOW: FULL FIXTURE LIST, SCHEDULE FOR A-LEAGUE SEASON
“FFA is continuing to monitor developments in all states and we will remain agile in our response to the development of the schedule as required,” a Football Federation Australia spokesman said.
Meanwhile, John Didulica has cited family reasons for his decision to stand down from his role as CEO of players’ union Professional Footballers Australia.
“It is an incredible honour to work in football and to serve footballers as chief executive of the PFA, but everybody who works in the sport knows how all-consuming it is,” Didulica said.
Victory players back at training. Picture: Quinn Rooney/GettySource:Getty Images
“After so many consecutive years involved, I really want to step back and spend more time with my wonderful wife and daughters.
“I am so proud of the work the PFA has done in recent years and, more recently, the institutional strength we demonstrated to preserve our entire staff to service players during the unprecedented professional and wellbeing challenges presented by COVID-19.
“We have built a great team and I have no doubt they will continue to steward the business to ensure we continue supporting the players and building the game.”
PFA president Alex Wilkinson said the departing Didulica had “galvanised the players and staff and pushed the organisation to new heights”.
FULL FIXTURE LIST FOR REMAINDER OF A-LEAGUE SEASON
July 16: Melbourne Victory v Western United
July 17: Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix
July 18: Perth Glory v Central Coast Mariners
July 19: Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United
July 20: Western United v Melbourne City
July 21: Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets
July 22: Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory
July 23: Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix
July 24: Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets
July 25: Sydney FC v Western United
July 26: Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United
July 27: Central Coast Mariners v Western Sydney Wanderers
July 28: Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar
July 30: Adelaide United v Perth Glory
July 31: Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix
August 1: Melbourne City v Sydney FC
August 2: Newcastle Jets v Western United
August 3: Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners
August 4: Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory
August 5: Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar
August 6: Adelaide United v Sydney FC
August 7: Western United v Western Sydney Wanderers
August 8: Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory
August 9: Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix
August 10: Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
August 11: Melbourne City v Adelaide United
August 12: Perth Glory v Western United
August 15: Team 4 v Team 5 or Team 3 v Team 6
August 16: Team 4 v Team 5 or Team 3 v Team 6
August 19: 1 v Lowest Ranked EF Winner or 2 v Highest Ranked EF Winner
August 20: 1 v Lowest Ranked EF Winner or 2 v Highest Ranked EF Winner
August 23: Winners Semi-Final v Winner Semi-Final 2
Originally published asOfficial! A-League release wild 39-day draw
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