Last weekend kicked off the start to the new A-League season. The league has been praised in the past for its competitive nature, and this season ahead doesn’t look too dissimilar.
One of the big differences in the league this season is the fact that FOX Sports has signed an agreement to televise live A-League matches on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and FOX Soccer 2Go. Check your TV guide for matches being played in the early morning hours each weekend.
What can you expect to see in the A-League? In the last three seasons, the A-League’s gone through a change of overall philosophy in terms of coaches, style and players. There are now more homegrown Australian coaches than ever before with up to eight teams fielding Aussie managers. It’s a departure from years gone by when foreign coaches tended to be given the green light to manage in the league.
This season also marks a second for last season’s fairy tale club Western Sydney Wanderers. A club formed only months before the beginning of the A-League season last term went on to reach the exorbitant heights of winning the Premiers Plate trophy and losing in last season’s grand final. However, with the arrivals of Tomi Juric and Matthew Spiranovic, the Wanderers have strengthened what was already a strong side with the likes of Shinji Ono and Youssef Hersi.
Not only will the Wanderers season be an interest to many A-League followers, but the new coaching acquisition for Adelaide United is former Barcelona youth coach Josep Gombau. He’s come into the job with a plan to recreate Adelaide’s style into something resembling his former employers. Eyebrows were raised when the signing of two former Barcelona youth players who had since moved to the lower reaches of Spanish football were signed, but the pre-season form of Adelaide and the signing of ex-Brisbane Roar and Gold Coast United man Steven Lustica from Hadjuk Split show that optimism has grown. Gombau’s credentials have been questioned, although a certain Pep Guardiola’s recommendation hasn’t hurt him find a level of legitimacy.
Another side that has been making shockwaves in the A-League off-season is Ange Postecogolou’s Melbourne Victory who’s been able to go from strength to strength. With the signing of Socceroo and former Newcastle United player James Troisi on loan from Atalanta and the likes of Kosta Barbarouses, Connor Pain, Mitch Nichols and more has created a depth at the Melbourne side that is the envy of many in the competition.