.

Though severely hampered by restrictions placed upon cross-border travel both into and within Australia, the FFA has conducted preparations as best they can should the events occur; a talent identification camp taking place for NSW-based prospective Young Socceroos in the past week.

A new five-year collective bargaining agreement has been struck between Professional Footballers Australia and the Australian Professional Leagues, with the aim to improve wages and drive up playing standards in the country’s elite leagues.

October 30 was earmarked as the start for the A-League season, with the W-League to kick off two weeks later. Those dates could now be pushed back given the COVID-19 outbreaks gripping Australia.

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As a temporary stop-gap, the club instead hoped to stage six home games at AAMI Park, three of which would have been derby games. However, those plans have apparently been blocked by existing tenants Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City.

That it is the Nix that has been given the honour of opening the season is a suitably symbolic reflection of the rapidly evolving face of the professional game in Australia — of which the very name of the competition is the most obvious shift. In the first year of its operation under the auspices of the Australian Professional Leagues (APL), the league has shed its W-League moniker and instead been christened as A-League Women (ALW); part of an effort to unify the leagues’ branding under one synergistic facade and remove the stigma surrounding the men’s competition previously holding the ‘A’ prefix unchallenged.

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