The Uncontentious Guide To The A-League, Kinda

The A-League is back!

Other international leagues are well underway, and it's finally our turn for the wild ride of celebration and disappointment that comes with being a football fan.

Teams have been busy in the offseason, the merry-go-round of players has continued, but there's fresh coaching blood to bring new ideas to the competition.

Here's what you need to know for the upcoming A-League season, beginning October 11.

Brisbane Roar

  • Named Tom Aldred as captain despite him never having played a game for them.
  • Have had one of the bigger player clear-outs in the comp, with more than a dozen new faces joining the ranks. However, a good pre-season has shown they might just have gelled in time.
  • Shooting hopes will lay at the feet of Roy O'Donovan, who has proven his worth previously in the A-League.
  • Former Liverpool great Robbie Fowler is at the helm, will be hoping to not join the long line of pundits failing to transition into management.
The legend is back for the Roar. Image: AAP

Newcastle Jets

  • Have been a little quieter in the transfer market than other teams, resulting in a distinct lack of depth.
  • Injury woes are already mounting in the attacking half of the team, with Kaine Sheppard and new Irish signing Wes Hoolahan both out until next year.
  • Could be rescued by the experience of Nigel Boogaard and  Nikolai Topor-Stanley holding the backline firm.
The Jets hearing VAR is still being used. Image: AAP

Central Coast Mariners

  • Well, it can't get much worse for them after the last two seasons.
  • But there is hope in the way of former Matildas coach Alen Stajcic, who has made a mark in his first pre-season.
  • Bringing in a slew of signings, including Kim Eun-Sun who has plenty of Asian top-flight experience to boss the midfield.
  • They'll be looking to Scotsman Ziggy Gordon to shore up a leaky defence (they let in a mere 70 goals last season).
The face of every Mariners fan for the past two years. Image: AAP

Western Sydney Wanderers

  • Also made a few international signings, most notably Alex Meier and Daniel Lopar.
  • But so much hope has already been dashed. Marquee striker Radosław Majewski has been ruled out for much of the season with an ACL injury.
  • But everything will be alright, because have you heard they have a new stadium?
Okay fine, the new stadium does look kind of cool. Image: WSW

Sydney FC

  • Speaking of stadiums, the current holders of the Toilet Seat trophy are still homeless.
  • Lost a few stalwarts (including retired Alex Brosque, and Josh Brillante who defected to Melbourne City), leaving Steve Corica the job of rebuilding a side which has come to expect big things.
  • Might be living off past glory, as the pre-season has not gone well, with just one win against an A-League side.
  • Experienced core of Milos Ninkovic and Brandon O'Neill will be relied on heavily to direct the newbies around.
Will the holders of the Toilet Seat be crap this year? Image: Getty

Melbourne City

  • Another team with a new manager, Erick Mombaerts. This one intends on bringing an attacking mindset.
  • Have poached Josh Brillante from the champs.
  • Striker Jamie Maclaren will be shouldering the goal hopes, but he has plenty of A-League experience to deal with that.
Remembering a time there were on two Melbourne teams. Image: Getty

Melbourne Victory

  • Have left their marquee-signing ways and returned to home talent.
  • Socceroos duo Robbie Kruse and Andrew Nabbout are back, and with that comes the expectation they will put on a show worthy of their international call-ups.
Here's hoping Victory fans will like him better than Socceroos fans. Image: AAP

Western United FC

  • New kids on the block (because Melbourne needed a third team apparently).
  • Have pillaged the competition to fill their roster.
  • Pre-season hasn't been great, with only one win against an A-League side, but understandable for a brand new team.
  • Will just be happy to have fans in the stands.
We're still getting used to a green team in the comp. Image: AAP

Adelaide United

  • Could be a bit dry in the goal-scoring department, especially after last season's top goal scorer Craig Goodwin left. No other player hit double digits.
  • But there is hope with Norwegian striker Kristian Opseth, who is 189 centimetres of firepower.
  • Al Hassan Toure is a youngster to watch. Promoted from the youth teams, he has been tearing it up in pre-season FFA Cup games.
They're really happy to be in the FFA Cup Final, one guy is practising with a drink bottle. Image: Getty

Perth Glory

  • Despite being current premiers, there has been a mass exodus.
  • It's a Tony Popovic team, so it's all about defence.
  • You also can't look past Socceroo Chris Ikonomidis, who will be key on the wings.
  • Will be racking up the Frequent Flyer points, and have to balance an AFC Champions League run for the first time as well.
  • Have a fear of penalty shootouts.
Last season, so close yet so far. Image: AAP

Wellington Phoenix 

  • Yes, our seventh state neighbours are still in the competition.
  • Pre-season hasn't been anything to write home about, especially a shock exit in the Round of 32 in the FFA Cup to an NPL team.
  • Have a creative midfield though, particularly in the form of new recruit Ulises Dávila.
  • Youth. Everywhere. The average age of this team is just 23. (We feel old.)
Young faces so full of hope. Image: Wellington Phoenix