Coaches and former Socceroos Tony Popovic, Patrick Kisnorbo and John Aloisi have called for international breaks to be implemented in the A-League Men.

A-League Men International Break

  • Several A-League coaches have called for a break during international windows.
  • Ten A-League Men's players are currently away on international duty.
  • The A-League had previously announced it would break this season, before retracting on the plan due to early season COVID-19 disturbances to the schedule.

More A-League news can be found on FTBL.

Ten A-League players have been called into Graham Arnold's squad for must-win matches against Japan on Thursday and Saudi Arabia next week.

League organisers had planned to bring in breaks this season but amid COVID-19 disruptions, those were abandoned to ensure the current campaign finishes on time.

The issue was amplified this week by Melbourne City knocking back a late request for Curtis Good to join the squad, citing Football Australia's failure to include the centre-back in their preliminary list.

City coach Kisnorbo, currently without Jamie Maclaren, Mathew Leckie, Marco Tilio and Connor Metcalfe, reiterated his previous calls for breaks.

"It's very easy to point fingers but if we want to grow and we want to follow rules around the world - because we are a world sport - what's good for one country has got to be good for all," Kisnorbo said.

"We've been saying about international breaks, last year, what happened?

"We missed how many Socceroos? We had 12 kids that have been at Melbourne City or played at Melbourne City in the Olympics.

"It doesn't change, that's why there's no point me wasting my breath because it is what it is."

Victory boss Popovic, currently without Ben Folami and Nick D'Agostino, said he'd wanted international breaks "every year" of his career.

"We shouldn't be losing players during this period. We should all focus on the Socceroos and we should all be cheering them on and not playing during this period," Popovic said.

"There are various reasons why that doesn't happen and can't happen.

"Hopefully we can have a normal schedule next year."

Popovic confirmed late call-up Folami was on the preliminary list but indicated he wouldn't have held the forward back regardless.

"We can't give these boys a platform here and encourage them to train with us and play with us and be the best they can be and then hold them back when an opportunity comes to play for your country in the two biggest games that we've had in this campaign," he said.

"But... we shouldn't be playing the day before the Socceroos play."

Western United coach Aloisi didn't lose any players to international duties and understood why there was no breaks, but echoed Popovic's sentiments.

"In the future, I'm hoping there will be (breaks), in terms of when we have such big international games because we want our best players playing in the competition but also playing for the Socceroos," he said.


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