As the international stage is being set, I thought to look at how the current club football scene has been doing, with the first league that we look at being the Hyundai A-League which is the top league of Australian football. Just as it is concluding with some great fixtures up ahead, it will be worth a watch if you’re looking to watch even more football than the Euros.
Drawing similarities to Scottish football, the A-League only consists of 12 teams with this season 11 being from Australia and one from New Zealand, Wellington Phoenix. Each team plays each other three times and the winner is presented with the Premiers’ Plate and qualify for the Asian Champions League. There is no relegation for the bottom team in the league.
However the top 6 teams break away from the others and play a knockout tournament called the Finals Series with the top two teams getting a bye in the first round. The winner of Finals Series is crowned champions of the A-League and also qualify for the ACL.
That’s the rules out the way, now onto the teams and who you should be supporting:
At the top of the tree we have Melbourne City FC who have just won their first Premier Plate after finishing runners up last season. Not only do they sound similar but they wear the same colour, share the same shirt sponsor and are also owned by Manchester City owners City Football Group. Although all their transfers this season have joined for nothing, it is reported that Melbourne City have the highest wages in the league. If you are a fan wanting to watch a team grow and could possibly take over the A-League, Melbourne City are for you.
Second in the league are Sydney FC who are looking to build on their success of last season and reclaim their A-League trophy. Sydney FC are the most decorated team in the division with 4 Premiership Plates and 5 A-League Trophies. Glory hunters, Sydney FC are the team to follow. Also to note that former Premier League striker Adam Le Fondre is currently on their books but was loaned out to Mumbai City for this season.
A team for the outsiders would be 4th placed side Brisbane Roar. Winners of 2 Premier Plates and 3 A-League titles while also being the first team to win back to back titles, the roar are looking for success with their last piece of silverware coming way back in 2014. Ex-Motherwell favourite and centre half Tom Aldred is the current captain of Brisbane Roar and will be looking to lift something by the end of the season. Sporting a bright orange home kit with a lion as their crest, they are definitely a team you cannot miss.
If you just like the look of a team based on their badge and kits then look no further than Perth Glory who may have finished 9th in the table but they looked good doing it. Winning trophies is the last thing on their mind with only one title since the beginning of the A-League in 04/05, it’s the kits that you’ll be embracing as the white and purple mixes perfectly and you can’t forget about the Perth badge which I would put up there with the best designed in world football.
Shout out the other teams in the division include Melbourne City FC rivals Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC rivals Western Sydney Wanderers, Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners, Newcastle Jets, Western United, new boys to the league MacArthur FC and the only New Zealand side Wellington Phoenix.