A grand final rematch and a Big Blue on the pristine turf of the new Sydney Football Stadium will be among the highlights of the opening round of the new Isuzu UTE A-League season, whose full draw was released today.
The Australian Professional League (APL) confirmed today that the action will kick off on Friday 7th October, with the competition taking a three week break from November 14th to support the Socceroos during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Champions Western United will kick off the new season by travelling to face Melbourne City at AAMI Park, 132 days after winning the 2022 Grand Final at the same venue, while an F3 derby will also feature in a high-powered opening round.
The first Sydney derby – pitching former Sydney FC favourite Milos Ninkovic against his old side in the colours of Western Sydney – will take place in Round 6, while the finals series is set to take place in May 2023.
A-Leagues Commissioner Greg O’Rourke said he was looking forward to delivering the first, fixed, full regular season schedule in three years after the disruption of COVID, with incoming stars such as Melbourne Victory marquee signing Nani adding to the buzz.
“Delivering a draw for our clubs and their members and fans is always an exciting and important milestone.” O’Rourke said. “This season we hope for a more healthy environment in our community with Covid reducing its impact on our daily lives.
“We have worked hard to reflect the feedback from the fans and deliver a draw that makes it easy to know when our games will be played, with 90% of them being scheduled in just four time slots.
“Our Saturday night game returns to standalone status, and we have worked to deliver as many games as possible in the slots that each club has told us their fans prefer.
“We have had some unique challenges with some stadiums out of action at various points, particularly in preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year, but with some eye-catching new signings and more young talent coming through, we are
genuinely excited about the season ahead.”
Working closely with Network 10 and Paramount+, the Isuzu UTE A-League season draw is focused on delivering the best opportunities for our fans across Australia to attend and watch more games than ever before.
The Liberty A-League Women’s season draw will be released in the coming weeks as APL looks forward to welcoming Western United into the expanded women’s
The full Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s season draw is out now on KEEPUP.com.au.