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Hyundai A-League Thread - Australia Rules Football

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Image result for a-league logo

 

 

So you've decided to move to the land of drop-bears and bunyips. Welcome. Watch out for the cane toad march.

 

The Hyundai A-League is a reletively young competition at just 15 years old. In that time A-League clubs have done the following:

  • Stopped existing (New Zealand Knights, Gold Coast United, North Queensland Fury)
  • Sold Out (Melbourne Heart/City)
  • Failed at continental competition (all except Western Sydney Wanderers)
  • Started existing (Wellington Phoenix, Melbourne Heart/City, Western Sydney Wanderers, Western United, MacArthur FC)
  • Produced high quality talent (Aaron Mooy, Mat Ryan)
  • Won a Champions League (Western Sydney Wanderers)
  • Have silver-plated toilet seat as a trophy
  • Been the envy of the Asia and the world over (that's where you come in)

 

A little History Lesson

The A-League came into existence after the demise of the old NSL (anyone remember that from the old Championship Manager days?). At the time there were eight teams - seven in Australia and one in New Zealand.  Old soccer, new football was the vogue term at the time to describe the new competition void of clubs from the old NSL. Soccer Australia changed it's name to Football Federation of Australia and made the decision that the old clubs did not suit the vision of the A-League for a number of reasons.

As the seasons ticked along new clubs came and went. We are now left with an 11 club competition which will expand to 12 in 2020/21.

 

Club Profiles

Adelaide United

Based out of Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide, the Reds won the first Premiers Plate in 2006 and won their only A-League title in 2016. Adelaide have won the FFA Cup on two occasions and remain a strong club in Australian football. Adelaide also hold the record for worst loss in a Grand Final when Archie Thompson treated them like American Samoa.

Key Players: James Troisi and Ben Halloran are probably your best players to build around. Al Hassan Toure is the brightest youth in the squad.

Brisbane Roar

Robbie Fowler's revolution. Able to say they have the longest unbeaten streak in the A-League. Recent seasons haven't been as successful but have won the A-League 3 times. Robbie Fowler has assembled a troupe of ex-lower league Englishman as the international players in the squad. 

Key Players: Tough one. Jay O'Shea and Aiden O'Neill would be my picks. Dylan Wenzel-Halls as your youth player.

Central Coast Mariners

Broke Boys of the Hunter Valley. Not a lot of money but high on spirits. Have won the A-League once in 2013. Have more or less gone down hill since then. Not a bad squad but lack of funds means resources are limited. Have a senior affiliate with Sheffield United to loan players so make the most of that link. Needs to invest in youth and that is exactly what the board wants.

Key players: Tommy Oar, Daniel Da Silva, Ziggy Gordon. Samuel Silvera is your best youth prospect.

Melbourne City

From the poor boys to the rich kid. Part of the City Football group, Melbourne City boast a lot of money and a great link with Manchester City. It's a wide ranging link that will benefit the club as a whole. The board has desires on winning the league and it really shouldn't be too difficult. Melbourne City began life as Melbourne Heart and are the second biggest club in Melbourne. City/Heart don't have much of a winning record with one FFA Cup all they have in the trophy cabinet.

Key Players: Craig Noone, Josh Brilliante, Jamie Maclaren, Adrian Luna, Florin Bérenguer. Youth players with talent are Connor Metcalfe, Ramy Najjarine and Denis Genreau. All round a really good squad.

Melbourne Victory

The big boys of Melbourne. A successful club who want trophies, trophies and more trophies. Boast the highest attendances and memberships so cashflow won't be an issue. Quality squad, albeit on the older side. Are in the Asian Champions League in the first season. Have never been a real challenger in Asia so the challenge would be to win against the big and powerful clubs in East Asia before conquering the continent.

Key Players: Robbie Kruse, Ola Toivonen, Adama Traore. No real gun youths but Josh Hope is showing promise

Newcastle Jets

Won the league in 2008 and have been up and down all their A-League existence. Previous luminaries such as Former English strikers Emile Heskey and Francis Jeffers have graced the pitch at McDonald Jones Stadium. Similsr to Central Coast Mariners but not as broke. Squad needs to turn over some of the older heads for younger guys.

Key players: Wes Hoolahan, Roy O'Donavan, Abdiel Arroyo. Bobby Burns is probably the best young bloke but he is only on loan.

Perth Glory

A relativity successful club with two A-League titles and a Premiers Plate. Travel lots. Perth is miles from were most clubs are based on the eastern sea board. Funding is fine and nib Stadium is a good fit for the club. Squad is a touch on the older side but the players are quality. Will be playing Chsampions League in the first season.

Key Players: Bruno Fornaroli, Diego Castro, Chris Ikonomidis, Tomi Mrcela. Youth prospect is Kristian Popovic.

Sydney FC

The biggest boys in the biggest city. Sydney FC won the first A-League title and have pretty much done as they liked since then. Great funding but do operate in a stadium way too big for them. Playing Champions League in the first season. Probably the best squad in the league. Have a merchandising link with Ajax (try and upgrade that to a loan link). The board will be really similar to their rivals, Melbourne Victory in that they want trophies. Just like Victory, they haven't done much in the Asian Champions League before.

Key players: Adam La Fondre, Milos Ninkovic (this doesn't do justice to the quality of the squad). Youth prospect is Christopher Zuvela

Wellington Phoenix

Cannot qualify for Asian Champions League as they are based in the Oceania Football Conference and cannot qualify for the Oceania Champions League as they play in a league based in Asia. You're only playing for the A-League titles here. Squad rules are a bit more relaxed in that Kiwis don't count as visa players and neither do Aussies. No real history to speak of. Do clock a lot of international travel by flying to Australia every other week.

Key Players: Gary Hooper, Ulises Dávila. Youth ProspectsLiberato Cacace, Alex Rufer, Reno Piscopo

Western Sydney Wanderers

Have done what no other A-League club have done and won an Asian Champions League, although have never won the A-League title.Fierce rivalry with Sydney FC. Really good support and money should be pretty good. Do like promoting their youth. They do have a seriously good attack.

Key Players: Simon Cox, Nicolai Müller (both will be in the transfer update). Youth prospect is Keanu Baccus

Western United

The new boys on the block. Have an old Italian by the name of Alessandro Diamanti in the squad. The real bonus of Western United is they will build and own their own stadium - a first in Australia. Have plenty of money in the bank. Not a lot to say as they have no history and have played no games. Do not enter the FFA Cup until 2020/21 season.

Key players: Alessandro Diamanti, Panagiotis Kone. Youth Prospects are Sebastian Pasquali and Thiel Iradukunda

MacArthur FC

Want a real challenge? Start as Macarthur - No players so need to build a squad to enter the competition with in 2020/21.

 

Anything I need to know about the A-League?

Well, yes. First off, there is no promotion or relegation. Secondly, you don't win the A-League simply by finishing top. The A-League operates a finals series like the MLS or the English Championship's playoff system. The top 6 enter the finals series after the season to ultimately win the A-League title. That's the easy part done....

The A-League operates a salary cap system similar to the MLS but with less ways to make a player not count towards the budget. The main way to get a player off budget is to sign them as a designated player (two per club). Alessandro Diamanti and Panagiotis Kone are the two designated players at Western United for example. The second way is that any player on a youth contract do not need to be registered so don't rush to sign up your youth prospects to full time contracts. The third and hardest way to have a player off budget is as a mature-aged rookie. This is not a contract type. Gaining MAR status happens when a player is signed from a lower-tiered Australian club and have never been on a professional contract before.

 

Think of the A-League as MLS-lite. No complicated player signing rules, no draft, a salary cap to keep things a bit even and a preference for local players.

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I'm currently playing as Western United. Have Suphanat Mueanta coming in for the second season. Diamanti will be going. Currently sitting 3rd so hope to make ACL in the first season.

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Finished the first season in second. Main issue was lack of a goalscorer. Connor Pain was my lead scorer with 5. Hopefully I can find a goalscorer for the finals

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