A festival of rugby league action is set to take over the pre-season in 2020.
Big-name signings, new clubs, massive coach moves. The offseason had it all, and now we’re ready for the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League season to begin.
The first round of the new season is less than two weeks away. Let’s take a deep-dive into everything you need to know.
Round 1 will begin in Adelaide on Friday 11 October between Adelaide United and Sydney FC.
It’ll be Saturday night that steals the headlines with a Melbourne Derby to open the season at Marvel Stadium.
The Victory will take on Melbourne City, with bragging rights already on the line and both clubs serious contenders this year. The game will kick off on Saturday 12 October at 7.30pm.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Grand Final runners-up Perth Glory will face a new-look Brisbane Roar outfit tipped for big things this season.
The game will be held at Glory’s home HBF Park, kicking off at 6pm.
There have been some massive signings this off-season across the league, both on and off the field.
Arguably the biggest names are joining Melbourne Victory, with Socceroos Andrew Nabbout and Robbie Kruse both giving their attacking lineup a massive boost next to Ola Toivonen.
Over at Newcastle, former Premier League midfielder Wes Hoolahan has joined the club. After spending last season at West Brom, Hoolahan spent ten years at Norwich City where he played over 300 games.
Perth Glory have bolstered their defence with the signing of Swiss centre-half Gregory Wüthrich from Young Boys, boasting both UEFA Champions League and Europe League experience.
Former Premier League winger is a huge signing for Melbourne City, most recently plying his trade for Bolton Wanderers, after previously playing for Cardiff City.
Wellington Phoenix have themselves a new Goalkeeper, with New Zealand’s number 1 Stefan Marinovic crossing from Bristol City after over 100 appearances in Germany.
Meanwhile, Western Sydney Wanderers have secured Swiss international midfielder Pirmin Schwegler. Schwegler has made over 250 appearances in the Bundesliga for several clubs across Germany.
Yes, there’s a new kid on the block. Western United – based in western Melbourne, they’ll enter the competition this season.
This makes it three Melbourne-based sides now in the league. Led by former Phoenix coach Mark Rudan, the club have made some big waves on the player signing front.
Former Victory talisman Besart Berisha will lead the line this season. Former Socceroo striker Scott McDonald also joins the club, as well as current full-back for the National side, Josh Risdon, crossing from the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Other big names include Greece international Panagiotis Kone, a veteran Serie A attacking midfielder, as well as former Italian international, attacker Alessandro Diamanti.
The club have also secured former A-League captains, defenders Andrew Durante (Wellington Phoenix) and Brendan Hamill (Western Sydney Wanderers).