The A-League begins in 17 days, the W-League in 23 days. For what feels like the first time in a long time, there is some much needed breathing space between the end of the AFL & NRL seasons, and the commencement of top flight football in Australia.
In seasons gone by, the build up to a new A-League season in particular would be lost among the aftermath of the grand finals of the other football codes.
The A-League would creep up on people, many unaware there was football on. While the derbies generated some excitement, the beginning of the season was more akin to dipping a toe into the pool rather than diving in head first.
Perhaps even more important than the break between seasons is the light at the end of the tunnel regarding the governance saga which has plagued football in Australia for years.
The FFA board came out on Friday afternoon and said they support expanding FFA’s congress to be more in line with FIFA statues.
However, “the directors of FFA do not support some important elements of the CRWG Congress model and other proposed amendments contained in Resolution 1, which they consider are not in the best interests of FFA. Accordingly it is their duty to recommend voting against it.”
This spanner in the works was seemingly quashed on Sunday.
A joint statement from the nine state member federations, the 10 A-League clubs through Australian Professional Football Clubs Association (APFCA) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) was released.
In that statement the members of the FFA were said to “have reached agreement on changes to the FFA constitution.”
Once the resolutions formulated by the Congress Review Working Group are passed at the Extraordinary General Meeting on October 2nd, it would appear that the governance saga will finally be put to bed.
Assuming there are no hidden twists or dramas ahead, Australian football will have the joy of being able to focus on the actual games being played and the competitions that will soon begin.
Not only are there FFA Cup semi-finals on this weekend, the Matildas are in Europe playing friendlies against France and England as they continue to prepare for the World Cup next year.
The Socceroos will also play Kuwait in what will be Tim Cahill’s farewell match and the beginning of serious preparation for the Asian Cup.
It is hoped that all of this ‘clean air’ – not just from other sports but from football’s internal issues – will be used wisely. Promotion of the A-League and W-League is a necessity with the football on the park set to be as good as ever. The opportunity simply needs to be seized.