Australia’s A-League season to kick off in December

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia’s A-League will kick off its new season on December 27, officials announced yesterday, with 161 games squeezed into 23 weeks.

The women’s W-League will start on the same day, putting football in direct competition with cricket’s showpiece Boxing Day Test, when Australia are due to play India.

Twelve teams will compete in the new A-League, with Sydney-based Macarthur FC taking part for the first time, coached by experienced former Australia national women’s coach Ante Milicic.

Melbourne’s Western United FC played their first season this year, when Sydney FC won their fifth Grand Final – a feat no other team has achieved in the league’s 15-year history.