Sport A-League set to return in August: Clubs

A-League set to return in August: Clubs

As A-League clubs prepare for an August return, the FFA has two months to sort logistics. Photo: AAP
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A-League clubs are preparing for a competition re-start in August with Wellington Phoenix to base in NSW for a two-week quarantine period.

While the Football Federation Australia (FFA) is yet to officially detail the league’s resumption, clubs are preparing for a July training phase ahead of an August return to games.

The league was suspended on March 24 with five rounds, plus finals, remaining.

All games are likely to be played in Sydney at venues without spectators.

Phoenix will follow the path of the Warriors in the NRL in flying to Australia for a 14-day isolation period ahead of training.

“A bit like the Warriors, we would head over for two weeks of quarantine,”, Wellington’s general manager David Dome told the New Zealand Herald.

“We would train for a couple of weeks, then go out of isolation, then train for two more weeks … then hit the ground with the resumption of the A-League.”

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The A-League would be played behind closed doors. Photo: AAP

Dome said the health of Wellington players remained top priority before the competition resumed after halting because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

“We have to make sure the right protocols are in place,” he said.

“We’ve said from day one it has to be about the safety of the players, no-one wants to put them at risk.

“We want to make sure we have the best possible options, processes, procedures and structures in place.”

While Sydney was the expected hub, Dome said sufficient training venues and match-day venues were yet to be settled.

“We have to find venues for all the teams coming in from the other states and we have to find grounds to play in,” he said.

“There’s quite a bit of work to get through and we want to make sure we get that stuff right.”

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Perth Glory owner Tony Sage says the FFA has the next two months to work out logistics. Photo: AAP

Perth Glory owner Tony Sage said ground availability was a pressing question, given the NRL would return from May 28 and use some stadiums used by soccer.

“The difficulty we have now is in NSW with the NRL playing, what grounds are available because the two big ones – Kogarah and Bankwest Stadium – will obviously be used for NRL,” Sage told Perth radio station 91.3 Sport FM.

“That is an added complication to the mix so the FFA obviously have got the whole of May and June to work out logistics.”

Sage said it would be easier for the league and clubs to be based in the same city.

“It’s just easier with all of the players having the same conditions – quarantine, testing,” he said.

“If you have it in the five different states, it’s five different testing regimes for the players, it might not happen on an equal basis.

“So I think the hub idea is a lot better than doing that.”