Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Brisbane Roar FC
Brisbane Roar Football Club is a professional Australian soccer club based in Brisbane, Queensland. and has won the domestic title on three separate occasions, as well as holding the longest unbeaten record of 36 league matches without defeat. Brisbane competes in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia; the club was formed in 1957 as Hollandia-Inala, became Brisbane Lions, before it transitioned into Queensland Roar, playing under that name from the inaugural 2005–06 season of the A-League until the 2008–09 season. Since joining the A-League, the club has won two league Premierships, three Championships and has competed in five AFC Champions League competitions. Brisbane Roar holds the record for the longest unbeaten run at the top level of any Australian football code, which stands at 36 league matches without defeat. Brisbane Roar are the first and only club to win back to back Hyundai A-League Championships; the club plays home matches at Suncorp Stadium, a 52,500 seat multi-use venue in Milton, with First team training taking place at Logan Heritage Park which hosts the clubs administration staff.
In March 2018, the club relocated its Playing and Administration Headquarters to a purpose built, $9 million Center-of-Excellence in Logan hosting training, sports science and medical facilities for the A League team, W-League team and over 16 youth development teams. The youth team competes in the National Youth League and the women's team competes in the W-League. Commencing in 2014, the youth and women's teams compete in the NPL Queensland in order to maintain fitness and further develop their abilities; the youth team competes in the senior men's division while the women's team compete in the U15 boy's division. The youth and women matches are played at various locations across Brisbane, including Heritage Park, Goodwin Park, QSAC, A. J. Kelly Park, Perry Park and Suncorp Stadium; the origins of Brisbane Roar are traced back to the founding of Hollandia-Inala in 1957, by Dutch immigrants. The club was based in the Brisbane suburb of Richlands. After adopting the name Brisbane Lions in the 1970s, the club joined the National Soccer League as one of the founding clubs in the 1977 season and competed until the end of the 1988 season before reverting down to the Brisbane Premier League thereafter.
In the 1990s, the club again changed its name to Queensland Lions after coming to an agreement with the Australian rules football club, Brisbane Lions. At the time of conception of the A-League, teams from several capital cities were preferred to form the foundation clubs. By June 2004, two of the twenty submissions for joining the league were sought by partnerships formed in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. On 1 November 2004, the group headed by Queensland Lions were chosen as operators of the Brisbane team. On 2 March the following year, Queensland Roar FC were announced; the clubs's first-ever board consisted of chairman John Ribot, a former CEO of both National Rugby League clubs Brisbane Broncos and Melbourne Storm, deputy chairman Gary Wilkins, former Queensland and Australian international player, CEO Lawrence Oudendyk, Queensland Lions CEO. Miron Bleiberg was appointed as the Queensland Roar's inaugural manager on 2 March 2005. Under pressure from the fans to deliver on his promises of attractive and successful football he resigned on 12 November 2006 following a poor start to the 2006–07 season.
After much speculation, Bleiberg was replaced by former Australian national team coach, Frank Farina just three days after Bleiberg's resignation. Frank Farina's arrival led to a mini-revival which saw the club narrowly miss out on what would have been the Roar's first finals appearance, on goal difference; the 2007–08 season, saw Farina make up for the shortfall of the previous season, qualifying for the finals for the first time in the club's history. A memorable performance in the second leg of the semi-final saw the Roar defeat arch rivals 2–0 Sydney FC in front of a club record 36,221 fans to qualify for the preliminary final against the Newcastle Jets; the Roar would controversially lose 3–2 to the Newcastle side, who would go on to win the Grand Final. Farina again qualified for the finals in 2008–09, where the Roar dispatched of Central Coast Mariners 4–2 on aggregate, however they lost, again in the preliminary final, to Adelaide United after failing to capitalise on their dominance.
In 2009, the club was renamed to Brisbane Roar Football Club due to two other Queensland-based clubs entering the competition. On 10 October 2009, Farina was arrested by Queensland Police for Driving under the influence, he was suspended by the Roar and asked to show cause as to why he should not be sacked for tarnishing the name of the club. It was announced that assistant manager, Rado Vidošić would step into a caretakers role until a decision had been made which would include the M1 Derby, which the Roar lost 1–0 at home. Farina was sacked on 14 October 2009, with the club tasked with finding a replacement for the remainder of the 2009–10 season. Ange Postecoglou arrived mid-season armed with the task of picking up the pieces of a season in tatters. Postecoglou's first season ended as the worst in the club's short history, finishing second from the bottom. Postecoglou completed a turn-around in the 2010–11 season, he made wholesale changes to the squad, commencing with the replacement of the "old-guard" of Charlie Miller, Craig Moore and Danny Tiatto and brought in his own squad, a mixture of youth and talented experience.
Under his brand of possession/attacking
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC
APIA Leichhardt Tigers Football Club known as APIA, is a semi-professional soccer club based in the suburb of Leichhardt in Sydney, Australia. The club was formed in 1954 as APIA Leichhardt, by Italian Australians APIA, winner of the national Australian championship of 1987, is a member of the NPL NSW; the club was founded as the Associazione Poli-sportiva Italo Australiana in 1954 by members of the Italian-Australian community in Sydney's Inner West. After several years in the Canterbury District competition, the club joined the NSW Federation's state league. In the 1960s APIA became one of the foremost soccer clubs in Australia and won the Premiership of NSW of the years 1964, 1966, 1967 and 1975, the highest level of achievement in the absence of a national competition. Between 1966 and 1974 APIA won three times the State Cup of NSW named after a sponsor Ampol Cup; the 1974 final was considered "one of the most incredible finals" of the history of the club when skipper Jimmy Rooney and centreforward Peter Ollerton, who scored five goals, won 9–1 against Auburn in front of a crowd of 5210 at Wentworth Park, the highest finals result ever.
Rooney and Ollerton were in the team that represented Australia a few months in its first World Cup participation in Germany. In 1979 APIA was given access to the National Soccer League, the top tier of Australian soccer since 1977. In 1987 APIA won the national championship, six points ahead of the Preston Makedonia Soccer Club from Melbourne, with only two points awarded per win; the coach in that season was Rale Rasic. Charlie Yankos and Peter Katholos are the best known players from that side; the main cast of that year consisted of Tony Pezzano. In 1988 APIA won the National Soccer League Cup. By 1992 the APIA Leichhardt was overwhelmed by financial difficulties; the club was somewhat restructured and forthwith played on state level with the moniker "Tigers."In 2017, APIA won the National Premier Leagues NSW premiership, but lost the grand final to Manly United FC on penalties. APIA made the grand final of the 2017 Waratah Cup, but lost 3–1 to Hakoah Sydney City East FC. In 2018, APIA won the 2018 Waratah Cup.
On 21 August 2018, APIA defeated reigning A-League champions Melbourne Victory FC in the Round of 16 of the 2018 FFA Cup, becoming the seventh state-league side to beat a top-tier team in the knockout tournament. The result was billed as one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history. Lambert Park in Leichhardt is the club's traditional home ground, it has, over the years, been used for most of the club's home games. It is still hosts all of the club's NPL matches. APIA has hosted home games at a number of other venues, including Wentworth Park, Leichhardt Oval and Henson Park. Updated 1 September 2018. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Source Note 1: During 1984 to 1986, the league was split into two conferences – APIA played in the Northern Conference and the position in the table reflects position in the conference. = Premiers or Champions = Runners-up 1R, 2R, 3R...7R = 1st Round, 2nd Round, 3rd Round...7th Round R32 = Round of 32 R16 = Round of 16 QF = Quarter-final SF = Semi-final EF = Elimination Final PF = Preliminary Final PO = Playoff Final National Premier Leagues NSWPremiers: 1964, 1966, 1967, 1975, 2017 Runners-Up: 1963, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1997, 2002–03, 2015, 2018National Premier Leagues NSW Grand FinalsChampionships: 1964, 1965, 1969, 1976, 2002–03 Runners-Up: 1963, 1966, 1967, 1975, 2017, 2018Waratah CupWinners: 1962, 1966, 1975, 2013, 2018 Runners-Up: 2012, 2017 National Soccer LeaguePremiers: 1987 National Soccer LeagueAustralia CupWinners: 1966 Runners-Up: 1964, 1965, 1967NSL CupWinners: 1982, 1988 Official website Oz Football Profile NPL NSW Fixtures & Results
Ulisses Football Club known as Ulisses, is a defunct Armenian football from Yerevan. The club played at the top division in Armenian football, they used the Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium in Yerevan and sometimes the City Stadium in Abovyan as their home ground. The club headquarters are located on Yerevan. Like all other Armenian Premier League clubs, Ulisses FC had a reserve team that played in the Armenian First League. In 2015-16, the club was owned by the Armenian businessman Genrikh Ghazandzhyan and sponsored by the "Holiday" Group of Companies. 2000 – Founded as Dinamo-2000 Yerevan 2004 – Changed name to Dinamo-Zenit Yerevan 2006 – Changed name to Ulisses FC 2016 – Dissolved due to both financial and non-financial shortcomings The club was founded in 2000 as Dinamo-2000 Yerevan, made their debut at the 2000 Armenian First League season winning a promotion spot to the Premier League at the end of the same season. In 2004, the club became known as FC Dinamo-Zenit Yerevan and took 5th place in the Armenian Premier League.
In 2004 and 2005, 2 reserves teams of the club were represented in the Armenian First League: FC Dinamo-VZ Yerevan and FC Zenit Charentsavan. In 2006, the club changed their name with the arrival of new sponsor, they occupied the 8th place at the 2006 Armenian Premier League season grabbing the chance to save their place in the top league in a decisive match with FC Dinamo Yerevan. Winning the game, Ulisses FC secured their place in the top tier for the next season. In seasons 2007 and 2008 team play was much more better, there was no need of survival games. At the beginning of 2008, the club's department was enlarged with the Shengavit football school of Yerevan, while the Vardanank-451 Stadium of Voskehat became the training base of the club. In 2007, they played their home games in the Kasaghi Marzik Stadium in Ashtarak. In 2009, they moved to the Mika Stadium in Yerevan. In 2011 Ulisses FC won the Armenian championship for the first time in club history, ended Pyunik dominance of 10 consecutive championships.
On 3 February 2016, the club declared that it will not participate in the second half of the 2015-16 Armenian Premier League season. As of match played 9 July 2015Home results are noted in bold Armenian Premier League: Champions: 2011 Runners-up: 2014–15 As of 30 September 2015Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality; the Ulisses FC reserve squad play as Ulisses FC-2 in the Armenian First League. They play their home games at the Kasakhi Marzik Stadium in the town of Ashtarak; as of 1 August 2015Note: Flags indicate national team. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Manager: Ara Azaryan Vagharshak Aslanyan Albert Sarkisyan Vachagan Khachataryan Alesha Antonyan Ashot Kirakosyan Sevada Arzumanyan Arsen Chilingaryan Souren Barseghyan Sevada Arzumanyan Karen Barseghyan Suren Chakhalyan Gagik Simonyan Fyodor Shcherbachenko Suren Chakhalyan Gagik Simonyan Ulisses FC Official Website Ulisses FC at FFA.
AM Ulisses FC at UEFA. COM Ulisses FC at EUFO. DE Ulisses FC at Weltfussball.de European Football Club Ranking
Perth Glory FC
Perth Glory Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in Perth, Western Australia. It competes in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia. Founded in 1995, Perth Glory is one of three A-League clubs to survive from the now defunct National Soccer League. Glory entered the A-League competition for the inaugural 2005–06 season, eight years after the club's formation in 1995. Perth won their first silverware in the A-League era; the club plays at Perth Oval known as HBF Park for sponsorship purposes, with a seated capacity of 20,500. A youth team competes in the Y-League, a women's team competes in the W-League. Both the youth and women's team play at various locations across Perth, most played at Dorrien Gardens. Perth first showed interest in joining the National Soccer League prior to its inaugural year in 1977. However, a series of logistical problems and financial concerns meant that the league was not keen to include a Western Australian side.
While the state representative side continued to perform well in national and international cup competitions, WA continued to be unrepresented at a senior club level until 1994. In 1994, a group of businessmen led by Joe Claudio formed the Perth Kangaroos IFC; the club competed in the 1994 Singapore Premier League along with the Darwin Cubs. At the time, there were visions of establishing an Asia-Pacific Super League which could become a sporting and financial empire in the east, it turned out to be something of a farce. The Kangaroos finished the league season undefeated and won the Singapore league title. However, with dwindling support and resources, the experiment proved to be a financial disaster and Perth Kangaroos IFC soon folded. In 1995, another consortium led by Nick Tana made a bid for entry into the National Soccer League. Perth Glory was subsequently licensed to join the 1996–97 NSL season and on 1 December 1995 the club was launched. From a unheralded start, the club would develop beyond all expectations and help commercially re-establish Association football in a state where Australian rules football dominates the media and Rugby league was commercially about to fail.
Former Adelaide City player and Perth Kangaroos coach Gary Marocchi was appointed coach for the first two seasons and won many fans with his bold, attacking style. Believed to be nothing more than a token participant, Perth surprised many by only just missing the cut for the finals; the exciting style of "you score three, we score four" drew fans – including many British expatriates. Players like NSL-title-winning sweeper Vinko Buljubašić, Perth-based striker Bobby Despotovski and young local star Vas Kalogeracos were brought into the team and achieved cult status. New Zealand international Gavin Wilkinson was signed while local midfielder Gareth Naven was appointed captain. In their first match in the NSL, Perth Glory lost to Sydney Olympic 4–1, with veteran Scot Alan MacKenzie scoring the first goal for Glory and Doug Ithier winning the first Man-of-the-Match award. Large crowds and good results soon followed with an exciting win over defending champions the Melbourne Knights thrilling a huge crowd.
Glory needed only a point in their final match of the season but were defeated by the Knights and fell just short of making the finals. Glory midfielder Paul Strudwick was sent off during the match in controversial circumstances while trouble in the crowd marred the match. In the 1997–98 season, despite again narrowly missing the top six and signing more high-profile players like Ernie Tapai, Danny Hay and Nigerians Samson Siasia and Peter Anosike it was a disappointing season for the Glory. Fan support was further consolidated in the era of Bernd Stange; the former East German national coach became a media star after replacing Gary Marocchi, sacked and took the team into the competition playoffs. The success of the team created record attendances along with record exposure in the local media. During Stange's reign, Glory competed in its first-ever NSL Grand Final in 1999–2000 after having won the League championship. In his first season, Stange had taken Glory to their first finals series the previous season and had fallen in the preliminary final against Sydney United.
With new signings John Markovski and Con Boutsianis fitting straight into the side, local player Jamie Harnwell started to develop into a key defender and made the step to replace the injured Vinko Buljubašić. A horror form slump at the height of summer denied the Glory a top two place but massive crowds still attended their two home finals at the WACA Ground against Adelaide City and Marconi Stallions; the following year, Glory recruited young players Ivan Ergić, Jason Petković and Olyroo Kasey Wehrmann. The 1999/2000 grand final is remembered. Earlier in the Championship Playoff series, Perth had narrowly beaten the Wollongong Wolves in a two-legged Major Semi Final – needing a dramatic 80th-minute penalty and goal in extra time to advance. In the grand final, Perth again faced the Wolves and led 3–0 at half time against a miserable Wolves outfit. Yet, the Wolves rallied superbly and Perth experienced a series of defensive blunders to be pegged back to 3–3 at full-time. Perth subsequently lost on penalties, but this defining moment galvanised the team and would be a motivating force for years to come.
James Afkos, a young defender and son of Glory co-owner Paul Afkos saw his penalty saved, which gav
Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders"; as of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to 65% of the state's population. Indigenous Australians have inhabited the Sydney area for at least 30,000 years, thousands of engravings remain throughout the region, making it one of the richest in Australia in terms of Aboriginal archaeological sites. During his first Pacific voyage in 1770, Lieutenant James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to chart the eastern coast of Australia, making landfall at Botany Bay and inspiring British interest in the area.
In 1788, the First Fleet of convicts, led by Arthur Phillip, founded Sydney as a British penal colony, the first European settlement in Australia. Phillip named the city Sydney in recognition of 1st Viscount Sydney. Penal transportation to New South Wales ended soon after Sydney was incorporated as a city in 1842. A gold rush occurred in the colony in 1851, over the next century, Sydney transformed from a colonial outpost into a major global cultural and economic centre. After World War II, it experienced mass migration and became one of the most multicultural cities in the world. At the time of the 2011 census, more than 250 different languages were spoken in Sydney. In the 2016 Census, about 35.8% of residents spoke a language other than English at home. Furthermore, 45.4% of the population reported having been born overseas, making Sydney the 3rd largest foreign born population of any city in the world after London and New York City, respectively. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, the 2018 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Sydney tenth in the world in terms of quality of living, making it one of the most livable cities.
It is classified as an Alpha+ World City by Globalization and World Cities Research Network, indicating its influence in the region and throughout the world. Ranked eleventh in the world for economic opportunity, Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance and tourism. There is a significant concentration of foreign banks and multinational corporations in Sydney and the city is promoted as Australia's financial capital and one of Asia Pacific's leading financial hubs. Established in 1850, the University of Sydney is Australia's first university and is regarded as one of the world's leading universities. Sydney is home to the oldest library in Australia, State Library of New South Wales, opened in 1826. Sydney has hosted major international sporting events such as the 2000 Summer Olympics; the city is among the top fifteen most-visited cities in the world, with millions of tourists coming each year to see the city's landmarks. Boasting over 1,000,000 ha of nature reserves and parks, its notable natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, Royal Botanic Garden and Hyde Park, the oldest parkland in the country.
Built attractions such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House are well known to international visitors. The main passenger airport serving the metropolitan area is Kingsford-Smith Airport, one of the world's oldest continually operating airports. Established in 1906, Central station, the largest and busiest railway station in the state, is the main hub of the city's rail network; the first people to inhabit the area now known as Sydney were indigenous Australians having migrated from northern Australia and before that from southeast Asia. Radiocarbon dating suggests human activity first started to occur in the Sydney area from around 30,735 years ago. However, numerous Aboriginal stone tools were found in Western Sydney's gravel sediments that were dated from 45,000 to 50,000 years BP, which would indicate that there was human settlement in Sydney earlier than thought; the first meeting between the native people and the British occurred on 29 April 1770 when Lieutenant James Cook landed at Botany Bay on the Kurnell Peninsula and encountered the Gweagal clan.
He noted in his journal that they were somewhat hostile towards the foreign visitors. Cook was not commissioned to start a settlement, he spent a short time collecting food and conducting scientific observations before continuing further north along the east coast of Australia and claiming the new land he had discovered for Britain. Prior to the arrival of the British there were 4,000 to 8,000 native people in Sydney from as many as 29 different clans; the earliest British settlers called the natives Eora people. "Eora" is the term the indigenous population used to explain their origins upon first contact with the British. Its literal meaning is "from this place". Sydney Cove from Port Jackson to Petersham was inhabited by the Cadigal clan; the principal language groups were Darug and Dharawal. The earliest Europeans to visit the area noted that the indigenous people were conducting activities such as camping and fishing, using trees for bark and food, collecting shells, cooking fish. Britain—before that, England—and Ireland had for a long time been sending their convicts across the Atlantic to the American colonies.
That trade was ended with the Declaration of Independence by the United States in 1776. Britain decided in 1786 to found a new penal outpost in the territory discovered by Cook some 16 years ear
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