Australian soccer league system
The Australian football league system is the league structure for association football clubs in Australia. The league system in Australia since 1977 has involved one top divisional league controlled by Football Federation Australia and many leagues run within each state below; the National Soccer League stood from 1977–2004 as the top nationwide tier above the current state-based league systems, in 2005, the A-League was established as its successor. The introduction of the National Premier Leagues in 2013 introduced a direct second tier of football in Australia, underpinning the A-League; the National Premier Leagues incorporated the existing state leagues as divisions with a nationwide end of season finals series. In 2013, the National Premier Leagues rebranded 5 of the 9 top state leagues, the remainder – with the exception of the Northern Territory – joined in 2014. There is no promotion and relegation to and from the top-tier A-League, promotion and relegation at other levels varies between different state systems.
The National Youth League, which runs in conjunction with the A-League as a national youth developmental and reserve league, is not included in the table. The women's football league system in Australia is similar to that of the men's, with the W-League the top nationwide league and below that state-based leagues run by the FFA Member Federations. Women's football in Australia is growing in popularity as clubs at grassroots level are getting in more players at a young age. A proposed national second tier league competition with the working title Australian Championship has been proposed. List of association football competitions League system, for a list of similar systems in other countries Capital Football pyramid, for a list of their League systems. Football Federation Victoria pyramid, for a list of their League systems. General
Kit (association football)
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sport's Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, prohibit the use of anything, dangerous to either the player or another participant. Individual competitions may stipulate further restrictions, such as regulating the size of logos displayed on shirts and stating that, in the event of a match between teams with identical or similar colours, the away team must change to different coloured attire. Footballers wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. A team of players wore numbers from 1 to 11, corresponding to their playing positions, but at the professional level this has been superseded by squad numbering, whereby each player in a squad is allocated a fixed number for the duration of a season. Professional clubs usually display players' surnames or nicknames on their shirts, above their squad numbers. Football kit has evolved since the early days of the sport when players wore thick cotton shirts and heavy rigid leather boots.
In the twentieth century, boots became lighter and softer, shorts were worn at a shorter length, advances in clothing manufacture and printing allowed shirts to be made in lighter synthetic fibres with colourful and complex designs. With the rise of advertising in the 20th century, sponsors' logos began to appear on shirts, replica strips were made available for fans to purchase, generating significant amounts of revenue for clubs; the Laws of the Game set out the basic equipment which must be worn by all players in Law 4: The Players' Equipment. Five separate items are specified: shirt, socks and shin pads. Goalkeepers are allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. While most players wear studded football boots, the Laws do not specify. Shirts must have sleeves, goalkeepers must wear shirts which are distinguishable from all other players and the match officials. Thermal undershorts must be the same colour as the shorts themselves. Shin pads must be covered by the stockings, be made of rubber, plastic or a similar material, "provide a reasonable degree of protection".
The only other restriction on equipment defined in the Laws of the Game is the requirement that a player "must not use equipment or wear anything, dangerous to himself or another player". It is normal for individual competitions to specify that all outfield players on a team must wear the same colours, though the Law states only "The two teams must wear colours that distinguish them from each other and the referee and the assistant referees". In the event of a match between teams who would wear identical or similar colours the away team must change to a different colour; because of this requirement a team's second-choice is referred to as its "away kit" or "away colours", although it is not unknown at international level, for teams to opt to wear their away colours when not required to by a clash of colours, or to wear them at home. The England national team sometimes plays in red shirts when it is not required, as this was the strip worn when the team won the 1966 FIFA World Cup. In some cases both teams have been forced to wear their second choice away kits.
Many professional clubs have a "third kit", ostensibly to be used if both their first-choice and away colours are deemed too similar to those of an opponent. Most professional clubs have retained the same basic colour scheme for several decades, the colours themselves form an integral part of a club's culture. Teams representing countries in international competition wear national colours in common with other sporting teams of the same nation; these are based on the colours of the country's national flag, although there are exceptions—the Italian national team, for example, wear blue as it was the colour of the House of Savoy, the Australian team like most Australian sporting teams wear the Australian National Colours of green and gold, neither of which appear on the flag, the Dutch national team wear orange, the colour of the Dutch Royal House. Shirts are made of a polyester mesh, which does not trap the sweat and body heat in the same way as a shirt made of a natural fibre. Most professional clubs have sponsors' logos on the front of their shirts, which can generate significant levels of income, some offer sponsors the chance to place their logos on the back of their shirts.
Depending on local rules, there may be restrictions on how large these logos may be or on what logos may be displayed. Competitions such as the Premier League may require players to wear patches on their sleeves depicting the logo of the competition. A player's number is printed on the back of the shirt, although international teams also place numbers on the front, professional teams print a player's surname above their number; the captain of each team is required to wear an elasticated armband around the left sleeve to identify them as the captain to the referee and supporters. Most current players wear specialist football boots, which can be made either of
The A-League is a professional men's soccer league run by Football Federation Australia. At the top of the Australian league system, it is the country's primary competition for the sport; the A-League was established in 2004 as a successor to the National Soccer League and competition commenced in August 2005. The league is contested by ten teams, it is known as the Hyundai A-League through a sponsorship arrangement with the Hyundai Motor Company. Seasons run from October to May and include a 27-round regular season followed by a Finals Series playoff involving the highest-placed teams, culminating in a grand final match; the winner of the regular season tournament is dubbed the'premier' while the winner of the grand final is the season's'champion'. This differs from the other major football codes in Australia, where'premier' refers to the winner of the grand final and the winner of the regular season is the'minor premier'. Successful A-League clubs gain qualification into the continental competition, the Asian Football Confederation Champions League known as "AFC Champions League".
Similar to the United States and Canada's Major League Soccer, as well as other professional sports leagues in Australia, Australia's A-League does not practice promotion and relegation. Since the league's inaugural season, a total of six clubs have been crowned A-League Premiers and five clubs have been crowned A-League Champions; the current premier is Perth Glory. The current champions are Melbourne Victory, who won the 2018 A-League Grand Final, equaling the record of four domestic titles held by Marconi Stallions, South Melbourne, Sydney City; the A-League does not recognize the history of its predecessor, the National Soccer League, the nations premier football competition from 1977 to 2004. A national round-robin tournament existed in various forms prior to the formation of the A-League, with the most notable being the National Soccer League; the formation of the NSL came after Australia's qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, which led to discussion of a national league, with 14 teams chosen to participate in the inaugural season of the NSL in 1977.
Under the guidance of the then-governing body, the Australian Soccer Federation, the NSL flourished through the 1980s and early 1990s but fell into decline with the increasing departure of Australian players to overseas leagues, a disastrous television deal with the Seven Network and the resulting lack of sponsorship. Few clubs continued to grow with Sydney Olympic, Perth Glory, the newly established Adelaide United the exception in a dying league. In April 2003, the Australian Federal Government initiated the Independent Soccer Review Committee to investigate the governance and management of the sport in Australia, including that of the NSL. In December 2003, the Crawford Report found that the NSL was financially unviable, in response the chairman of the sports new governing body, Frank Lowy of Football Federation Australia, announced that a task force would be formed to create a new national competition as a successor to the NSL which dissolved at the conclusion of the 2003–04 season after 27 years of operation.
The A-League was announced in April 2004, as a successor to the NSL. Eight teams would be part of the new national competition, with one team from each city of Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, plus a New Zealand team and one from a remaining expressions of interest from either Melbourne or Sydney; the competition start date was set for August 2005. By June 2004, 20 submissions had been received and a month 12 consortiums sent in their final bids for the eight spots. Three bids were received from Melbourne, two each from Sydney and Brisbane, one from each of the remaining preferred cities and a bid from the New South Wales Central Coast city of Gosford. Over the next three months, each bid was reviewed and on 1 November 2004, the eight successful bidders and the major sponsor were revealed, for what would be known as the Hyundai A-League, with the Hyundai Motor Company unveiled as the official naming rights sponsor for the league; the eight founding teams for the league were Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets, New Zealand Knights, Perth Glory, Queensland Roar and Sydney FC, with three former NSL clubs taking part, those being Adelaide United, Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory, as well as Queensland Roar and New Zealand Knights who were formed from NSL clubs Brisbane Lions and New Zealand Football Kingz.
Each club was given a five-year exclusivity deal in its own market as part of the league's "one-city, one-team" policy. This was intended to allow clubs to grow and develop an identity in their respective region without local competition. On 26 August 2005, 16 months after the demise of the NSL, the inaugural season of the A-League began; the first season would see Adelaide United win the premier's plate by seven points over Sydney FC with Central Coast and Newcastle filling the final two spots in the final series. In the final series, it was Sydney that took out the title after they defeated Central Coast by a Steve Corica goal to claim the first title on 5 March 2006. On 20 March 2007, it was announced that Wellington Phoenix would replace New Zealand Knights from the start of the 2007–08 season. Both Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury joined the league in the 2009–10 season. On 12 June 2009, Melbourne Heart was awarded a licence to join the 2010–11 season. On 1 March 2011 North Queensland Fury's A-League licence was revoked for financial reasons.
On 29 February 2012, Gold Coast United had its licence revoked. On 4 April 2012 it was announced that a new We
The Kanga Cup is a week-long international youth association football tournament held annually in Canberra, Australia during July. The tournament is run as an open cup consisting of both male and female competitors with teams from diverse backgrounds including clubs, schools and community groups coming together to compete in age groups ranging from U9s to U18s; the Cup is hosted by Capital Football and is sanctioned by Football Federation Australia and the Asian Football Confederation. Since 2018 the tournament has been known as the McDonald's Kanga Cup for sponsorship reasons; the Kanga Cup is regarded as the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere and is the most coveted prize in youth football in Australia. The Kanga Cup was held in Sydney, Australia with 35 participants; the cup moved to Canberra in 1993 and has been played in the Australian capital since. In 2012, the Kanga Cup welcomed the first representative team from South America in the tournament's 22-year history as 16 players of Estrella Solitaria club from the small working-class town of Batuco, Chile made the long trip over to Canberra.
Chilean Ambassador to Australia, Pedro Pablo Diaz, described the opportunity for these teenagers as an unbelievable trip of a lifetime and a chance for these kids to experience a different culture for the first time. He went on to say most of these kids were poor and this was the first and last time they will get to travel internationally.2013 saw funding cuts for the tournament from the ACT Tourism budget, with only $30,000 available compared to the previous year's budget of $60,000. However, despite the funding cut backs the Kanga Cup still recorded record numbers of participants and teams with 150 interstate teams and six international teams joining 92 local ACT sides, it was considered a good year for local teams with fourteen making grand finals and six walking away with trophies. One of the biggest surprises of the 2013 Kanga Cup was the grand final win for the visiting U18 Philippine national team, the Teen Azkals. Team manager, Alvin Carranza, brought the team to the Kanga Cup under the banner of Carranz FC to get the next generation of the Philippine national team international experience.
The win gave the U18s their first championship title and was used a preparation for the team's participation in the ASEAN Football Federation championship in Indonesia in 2014.2014 saw a shift in focus for the tournament with a new marketing strategy adopted to ensure the tournament grew from previous years. The 2014 edition of the Kanga Cup saw it coincide with the middle of the FIFA World Cup being held in Brazil; this might have hurt numbers attending the Kanga Cup but the organizers broadcast the World Cup during the Kanga Cup to give the whole event a festival feel. Capital Football CEO Heather Reid, announced the 2014 edition of the cup as "the best ever", with a total of 274 teams having competed along with 144 referees, with 813 matches being played, concluding with 29 grand finals played at Lyneham on the final day; the Kanga Cup celebrated 25 years of existence in 2015 with record entries of teams, officials and participants. More than 340 teams turned out between 3 and 8 July from as far away as South Korea, as the event drew 7,000 players and a total of over 10,000 people to the ACT. 2015 Kanga Cup tournament director Michael Kelly declared the tournament a success, with fine weather gracing the week-long tournament until grand final day when rain set in.
The 2015 opening ceremony of the Kanga Cup caused controversy with one of the sponsors organising cheerleaders for the event. The use of overly sexualised cheerleaders drew criticism from the public, with one witness writing to the editor of The Canberra Times to shame Capital Football for allowing such a performance to occur at a family event, likening the cheerleaders to those employed at National Rugby League matches. ACT Minister for Sport and Recreation Shane Rattenbury followed up and echoed the views of the public by condemning the use of cheerleaders at an event of this nature, he suggested the use of freestyle footballers demonstrating tricks with a football would be a better fit and more enjoyable for the Kanga Cup audience of juniors and their families. Capital Football released a media statement apologising to those involved at the opening ceremony; the 2017 edition saw a record number of players - 8000 - taking part, with 378 teams competing. The tournament is run as an open cup consisting of both male and female competitors with teams from diverse backgrounds including clubs, schools and community groups coming together to compete in age groups ranging from U9s to U18s.
Age groups are broken up into three divisions based on skill level where elite teams can face off against each other and social teams can play each other and enjoy themselves. Three categories are offered in most divisions. Cup Competition: Premier League teams, division one teams or district representative teams. Plate Competition: Newly promoted division one teams and division two teams. Shield Competition: Developing teams from lower placed divisions; the Kanga Cup provides an opportunity for participants to meet players from all over Australia as well as the world. Past international participants have included: Chile, Chinese Taipei, England, East Timor, Georgia, India, Italy, New Zealand, People’s Republic of China, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the United States and others. Social and cultural exchange is encouraged between competitors throughout the tournament, with a wide range of social activities available for participants and officials making the tournament a "cultural festival of football".
Many local clubs in the ACT participate on a regular basis inc
Professional Footballers Australia
The Professional Footballers Australia is an Australian trade union affiliated with the Australian Council of Trade Unions that represents professional male and elite junior soccer players. The PFA is a recent Australian trade union. Before the PFA, eight previous attempts had been made to form a footballer's association in Australia; the PFA was formed in April 1993 as the Australian Soccer Players’ Association. In 1994 the PFA won a standardised contract for footballers, through the Australian Industrial Relations Commission won the abolition of a transfer system much hated by Australian footballers. Since the mid-1990s, the PFA has been active in advancing soccer player's pay and conditions, has been active in protecting soccer player's from unfair dismissal. Member of FIFPro, they hold an annual award ceremony created to formally recognise the most outstanding Australian footballers. Soccer in Australia Football Federation Australia Professional Footballers Australia Official Website
Away colours are a choice of coloured clothing used in team sports. They are required to be worn by one team during a game between teams that would otherwise wear the same colours as each other, or similar colours; this change prevents confusion for officials and spectators. In most sports, it is the visiting or road team that must change – second-choice kits are known as away kits or change kits in British English, road uniforms in American English; some sports leagues mandate that away teams must always wear an alternative kit, while others state that the two teams' colours should not match. In some sports, conventionally the home team has changed its kit. In most cases, a team wears its away kit only when its primary kit would clash with the colours of the home team. However, sometimes teams wear away colours by choice even in a home game. At some clubs, the away kit has become more popular than the home version. Replica home and away kits are available for fans to buy; some teams have produced third-choice kits, or old-fashioned throwback uniforms.
In North American sports, road teams wear a change uniform regardless of a potential colour clash. "Color vs. color" games are a rarity, having been discouraged in the era of black-and-white television. All road uniforms are white in gridiron football and the National Hockey League, while in baseball, visitors wear grey. In the National Basketball Association and NCAA basketball, home uniforms are white or yellow, visiting teams wear the darker colour. Most teams choose to wear their colour jerseys at home, with the road team changing to white in most cases. White road uniforms gained prominence with the rise of television in the 1950s. A "white vs. color" game was easier to follow in black-and-white. According to Phil Hecken, "until the mid 1950′s, not only was color versus color common in the NFL, it was the norm." Long after the advent of colour television, the use of white jerseys has remained in every game. The NFL's current rules require that a team's home jerseys must be "either white or official team color" throughout the season, "and visiting clubs must wear the opposite".
If a team insists on wearing its home uniforms on the road, the NFL Commissioner must judge on whether their uniforms are "of sufficient contrast" with those of their opponents. The road team might instead wear a third jersey, such as the Seattle Seahawks' "Wolf Grey" alternate. According to the Gridiron Uniform Database, the Cleveland Browns wore white for every home game of the 1955 season; the only times they wore brown was for games at Philadelphia and the New York Giants, when the Eagles and Giants chose to wear white. In 1964 the Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams wore white for their home games according to Tim Brulia's research; the St. Louis Cardinals wore white for several of their home games, as well as the Dallas Cowboys; until 1964 Dallas had worn blue at home, but it was not an official rule that teams should wear their coloured jerseys at home. The use of white jerseys was introduced by general manager Tex Schramm, who wanted fans to see a variety of opponents' jersey colours at home games.
The Cowboys still wear white at home today. White has been worn at home by the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, several other NFL teams. Teams in cities with hot climates choose white jerseys at home during the first half of the season, because light colours absorb and retain less heat in sunlight – as such, the Dolphins, who stay white year-round, will use their coloured jerseys for home night games; every current NFL team except the Seattle Seahawks has worn white at home at some time in its history. During the successful Joe Gibbs era, the Washington Redskins chose to wear white at home in the 1980s and 1990s, including the 1982 NFC Championship Game against Dallas. Since 2001 the Redskins have chosen to wear white jerseys and burgundy jerseys equally in their home games, but they still wear white against the Cowboys; when Gibbs returned from 2004 to 2007, they wore white at home exclusively. In 2007, they wore a white throwback jersey; the Dallas Cowboys' blue jersey has been popularly viewed to be "jinxed" because of defeats at Super Bowl V in 1971, in the 1968 divisional playoffs at Cleveland, Don Meredith's final game as a Cowboys player.
Dallas's only victory in a conference championship or Super Bowl wearing the blue jerseys was in the 1978 NFC Championship game at the Los Angeles Rams. Super Bowl rules changed to allow the designated home team to pick their choice of jersey. White was chosen by the Cowboys, the Redskins, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots; the latter three teams wear colours at home, but Pittsburgh had worn white in three road playoff wins, while Denver cited its previous Super Bowl success in white jerseys, while being 0–4 when wearing orange in Super Bowls. Teams playing against Dallas at home wear their white jerseys to try to invoke the "curse", as when the Philadelphia Eagles hosted the Cowboys in the 1980 NFC Championship Game. Teams including the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Giants followed suit in the 1980s, the Carolina Panthers did so from 1995 until 2006, including two playoff games; the Hous
Australia national under-23 soccer team
The Australia national under-23 soccer team represents Australia in international under-23 soccer and at the Olympic Games. The team is controlled by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia, a member of the Asian Football Confederation and the regional ASEAN Football Federation since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation in 2006; the team's official nickname is the Olyroos. Australia's first two appearances in the Olympic Games saw the senior men's team participate, but in 1992 the eligibility was restricted to players under the age of 23, while in 1996, it was decided to allow teams to choose three over-age players in the final Olympic squads; the team has represented Australia at the Olympic Games on five occasions, in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. The team represented Australia at the AFC U-22 Championship tournament in 2014 and has qualified for the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship; the Australian national under-23 team made its international debut in 1967, when it took part in a triangular tournament against New Caledonia and New Zealand in Nouméa.
Australia lost its first game 2–1 on 6 November, won its second 1–3 on 10 November, with Gary Manuel supplying goals in both games. The team would next played eighth years in 1974, in a tour of Indonesia, sponsored by the Australian Government. During the tour, coached by Eric Worthington, won all three match against the host nation, it would be another 16 years before the team competed in international competition of any kind. In August 1990, Australia played a series of friendly matches in Europe under coach Eddie Thomson; the first against Switzerland ended in a 0–0 draw. The second match was played against the League of Ireland XI, ended in a 2–2 draw, with goals from Gary Hasler and John Gibson. Australia's final match was lost 2–0 against Czechoslovakia. Arguably Australia's most successful Olympic football tournament, the squad coached by Eddie Thomson contained just two overseas based players: KV Mechelen striker Zlatko Arambasic and Club Brugge midfielder Paul Okon, as the rest of the squad hailed from NSL clubs.
The squad saw Mark Bosnich, John Filan, Tony Vidmar and Tony Popovic, most Ned Zelic, who had single-handedly gotten the Olyroos to Barcelona with a sensational double strike in the second leg play off against the much admired Dutch team, take part before commencing their successful careers in Europe. Drawn with Mexico and Ghana, the Olyroos would take on the Africans in Zaragoza in their first round fixture. An early goal on 12 minutes, a long range free kick by Mohammed Gargo set the tone for Ghana as they held onto that lead until the 83rd minute when it was extended to 2–0 by Kwame Ayew. Ayew grabbed another on 89 minutes before Tony Vidmar scored a consolation goal for Australia on 91 minutes to bring the score to 3–1. John Filan was dropped after this game after coming under heavy criticism for failing to put up a wall for Ghana's first goal, the green Mark Bosnich was brought in, cementing his spot in the side for the Olympics. Two days in Barcelona, Zlatko Arambasic opened the scoring after 20 minutes as Australia lead Mexico 1–0 until the 63rd minute when Jorge Castañeda leveled the tie at 1–1, the game would finish this way which meant that Australia would need to win their last group stage game to proceed to the knock-out stages.
The Olyroos put in a performance worthy of note as the entire team began to fire on all cylinders, winning 3–0 against Denmark to book a spot in the quarter-finals. The game saw one first half goal by John Markovski and two second half goals thanks to Damian Mori and Tony Vidmar. Australia and Ghana progressed to the knock-out stages where Australia were tied to play against Sweden in Barcelona. In front of 30, 000 spectators at the Camp Nou, John Markovski put Australia ahead after 30 minutes. A 53rd-minute strike by Shaun Murphy put the Olyroos 2–0 up until Patrik Andersson scored one back for Sweden on 62 minutes; the game stayed at 2–1 and the result sent the Olyroos to the semi-finals where they would face Poland. At the Camp Nou in front of 45,000 spectators, Poland struck on 27 minutes, taking the lead after a goal from Wojciech Kowalczyk. Australia, hit back on 35 minutes when Adelaide City striker Carl Veart equalised. Just before half time though, Mark Viduka lashed out at a Polish defender, earning himself a straight red card, leaving the Australian's a man down against a Polish side who were technically gifted all over the park.
Poland came to life in the second period, putting on a dazzling display of soccer and scoring five goals in the process, which saw a hat-trick from Andrzej Juskowiak and an own goal from Shaun Murphy, to take out the game at 6–1. In the Bronze Medal game, Australia would meet up with group stage outfit Ghana, who took the lead when Isaac Asare scored after 19 minutes and winning the game 1–0, the result left the Olyroos to claim fourth spot at the tournament, as Spain would finish in first place after beating Poland 3–2. Eddie Thomson took a young squad to the United States, which included Aurelio Vidmar and Steve Horvat as the overaged players, the squad was combined of 7 overseas players out of the 18 men squad. A young Mark Viduka was in his second year at Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia and Kevin Muscat had just signed with English Premier League club Crystal Palace. Drawn into Group B with European heavy weights Spain and France, as well as Saudi Arabia, the Olyroos would lose 2–0 to France in their opening clash thanks to goals from Robert Pires and Florian Maurice, as Australia's Danny Tiatto saw a red card just after 24 minutes.
A 2–1 win over Saudi Arabia earnt the Olyroos their first 3 points of the campaign. Peter Tsekenis scored a