A blockbuster Melbourne derby will be the headline match in the opening round of A-League Season 2018/19, which kicks off later than ever before.
The fixture draw was officially released on Thursday, with the season kicking off on Friday 19 October with Adelaide United hosting Sydney FC at Coopers Stadium.
The remaining fixtures of the opening round will see coaches pitted against their former clubs. Brisbane Roar take on Central Coast Mariners, Perth Glory are up against Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix face Newcastle Jets.
The 2019 Finals Series will begin on the weekend of 3-5 May 2019 with the A-League Grand Final scheduled for the weekend of 18-19 May 2019.
FFA’s Head of Hyundai A-League & Westfield W-League, Greg O’Rourke, said the 14th edition of the league was an exciting draw.
“As we announced in April, the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season will kick-off later than ever before allowing more overlap with the grassroots season and will break twice for FIFA international windows,” O’Rourke said.
“The Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season will also kick-off the following week which will provide additional marketing opportunities for both the Leagues and the clubs.
“Although there will be no break during the AFC Asian Cup 2019, the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season Draw has been constructed in such a way that will allow a natural flow from one competition to the other from a broadcast perspective to create a Summer Football schedule that will see 31 Hyundai A-League matches played in 27 days throughout.
“Once again we have incorporated a split round (round 21) to assist clubs who are competing in the AFC Champions League. There is also flexibility built into the draw once the AFC Champions League 2019 schedule is released should we require.
There are three official themed rounds this season; Remembrance Round (4), rebel Female Football Round (5) and rebel Play Football Round (18).
O’Rourke added: “This edition of the Remembrance Round will be of special significance as it will coincide with the Centenary of the Armistice. Also for the first time the Hyundai A-League will hold an ANZAC day fixture between Brisbane Roar FC and Adelaide United at Suncorp Stadium which will kick-off at 2pm.
“Following an off-season review, and with the success at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, we will continue with the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system however in a new centralised facility."
FOX SPORTS, A-League Clubs, venues and other stakeholders worked collaboratively on the season draw.
Key features of A-League 2018/19 Season Draw
- Opening Round of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season begins on Friday 19 October 2018
- International breaks from 12-20 November 2018 and 18-26 March 2019
- No breaks for the AFC Asian Cup 2019
- Hyundai A-League 2019 Finals Series will begin on the weekend of 3-5 May 2019
- Hyundai A-League 2019 Grand Final will be played on the weekend of 18-19 May 2019
- Grand Final Re-Match (Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory) in Round 3 (Saturday, 3 November 2018 @ McDonald Jones Stadium)
- All clubs will play in at least one Harvey Norman Saturday Night fixture (kick-off 7:50pm AEST)
Melbourne Derbies (Melbourne City FC v Melbourne Victory)
- Round 1 (Saturday 20 October 2018 @ Marvel Stadium)
- Round 9 (Saturday 22 December 2018 @ AAMI Park)
- Round 20 (Saturday 23 February 2019 @ Marvel Stadium
Sydney Derbies (Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC)
- Round 2 (Saturday 27 October 2018 @ SCG)
- Round 8 (Saturday 15 December 2018 @ ANZ Stadium)
- Round 25 (Saturday 13 April 2019 @ ANZ Stadium)
F3 Derbies (Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets)
- Round 9 (Sunday 23 December 2018 @ Central Coast Stadium)
- Round 15 (Wednesday 23 January 2019 @ McDonald Jones Stadium)
- Round 22 (Saturday 16 March 2019 @ McDonald Jones Stadium)
Big Blue (Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC)
- Round 5 (Sunday 25 November 2018 @ Jubilee Oval)
- Round 16 (Saturday 26 January 2019 @ AAMI Park)
- Round 24 (Saturday 6 April 2019 @ SCG)
Original Rivalry: Adelaide United vs Melbourne Victory
- Round 7 (Saturday 8 December 2018 @ Marvel Stadium)
- Round 12 (Wednesday 9 January 2019 @ Coopers Stadium)
- Round 26 (Friday 19 April 2019 @ Coopers Stadium)
Fixtures played outside Home Cities
- Round 4 – Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Brisbane Roar FC @ Glen Willow Stadium, Mudgee – Saturday 10 November 2018
- Round 21 – Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets @ GMHBA Stadium, Geelong – Saturday 2 March 2019
- Remembrance Round – Round 4 (9-11 November 2018)
- rebel Female Football Round – Round 5 (23-25 November 2018)
- rebel Play Football Round – Round 18 (7-10 February 2019)
- Anzac Day Fixture: Round 27 – Brisbane Roar FC v Adelaide United @ Suncorp Stadium – Thursday, 25 April 2019
Round 21 will be a “Split Round” in order to accommodate back-to-back AFC Champions League Match Days 1 and 2 with fixtures scheduled as follows:
- Week 1 (1-3 March 2019) - Clubs participating in the AFC Champions League 2019
- Week 2 (8-9 March 2019) – No Clubs participating in the AFC Champions League 2019
- FOX SPORTS will show all matches of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season and Hyundai A-League 2019 Finals Series live.
- Network Ten will broadcast one Saturday night match a week and the Hyundai A-League 2019 Finals Series live.
- All Hyundai A-League 2018/19 and Hyundai A-League 2019 Finals Series matches will also be available on the MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers