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FA’s 2021-22 calendar is the best thing Australian football has seen in decades

 

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2021-22 calendar is the best thing Australian football:

Despite the lingering and significant realities of COVID-19 looming over New South Wales, Football Australia today released its domestic game schedule for 2021-2022.

The schedule covers the period from October 29, 2021, one day before the launch of the A-League on the long-awaited Ten Network / Paramount + platform, and October 28, 2022, just 13 days after the new FFA Cup final.

In between, he brings Australian football together more effectively than ever in Australia.

With some freedom gained after severing ties with a former major broadcast partner, FA CEO James Johnson’s dialogue with the PLA, member federations and the Professional Australian Footballers Association (PFA) informed the document, which has been greeted with almost universal positivity within hours of its release.

Australian football

(Photo by Brook Mitchell / Getty Images)

In what is a logical and well-informed move, the A-League is returning to its traditional place on the calendar, running from October through May. The W-League kicks off at the end of November and ends with a grand final in early April.

While the NPLW will continue to be totally out of step with the still limited level of women’s football in Australia, providing the opportunity for the country’s top young talent to play all year round, one of the major innovations is the increased focus on football. NPL men’s competition.

In 2022, the NPL will begin in late February and is expected to end in early spring, with a designated Finals weekend on September 11. Fifteen days later, the NPLW will experience the same exhibition on September 25.

The aim is obviously to raise the profile of the NPL and NPLW competitions, especially after Aussie fans witnessed firsthand how much young talent existed in them when called upon throughout the 2020 pandemic. -21.

Notably, the FA and the PLA have managed to navigate the difficult waters surrounding the transfer window issue and have struck an exciting deal, which should benefit the Australian game.

For the first time, both Football leagues will be on hiatus during FIFA’s international men’s and women’s windows, despite a caveat in the deal that appropriately cites continuing concerns of COVID-19 and an ever-present need to be flexible and agile if the situation deems it necessary.

Johnson cited the continuation of much of the work he and his team had already done, calling the new schedule the “next phase in the evolution of the Australian football landscape towards more aligned football competitions and a football pyramid. Australian more connected ”.

Danny Townsend, APL’s chief executive, perhaps expressed broad support for the new structure most emphatically in the statement he made to coincide with the FA’s release of the schedule.

“The (national match schedule) is the framework for the entire football pyramid – this announcement demonstrates the determination of Football Australia, the PLA and all other football stakeholders to deliver results that serve all of the world. Game. ”

Melbourne City's Scott Jamieson celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot in the A-League Grand Final.

(Photo by Robert Cianflone ​​/ Getty Images)

Perhaps most compelling is the inclusion of a reserved play period, specifically hinting at a second tier domestic competition, starting in late January and ending in May.

There are few details on the exact shape and form of such a competition, but for Australian football fans who crave the installation of promotion and relegation and more serious consequences for the inhabitants of the cellar of the A -League, it will be music to their ears.

In another competition overhaul, the 2022 FFA Cup will be finalized ahead of the start of the 2022-23 A-League season. This will provide Aussie football’s most sought-after knockout competition with a much needed clean air and coincide well with the climax of the NPL season.

In essence, the FFA Cup final becomes the last game of the season, before the A-League carnival begins again at the end of October.

Frankly, and despite the challenges of building such a visionary plan amid existing health issues on Australia’s east coast, the FA has produced a document that describes the most potentially connected football pyramid that the Australia has ever seen.

There is no doubt that its imperfections will be singled out in the days that follow. However, Johnson has clearly shown both an awareness of the existing flaws and the need to change the domestic game.

With future tinkering and adaptation, that first step in the right direction may well become the model for long-term success.

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