FOOTBALL Federation CEO David Gallop today officially launched the A-League 2013/14 season, saying the best years were still ahead.
Football's marquee stars aligned in Sydney and Melbourne to ensure last season's breakthrough into the Australian sporting mainstream continues apace.
Citing a 40 per cent increase in crowds and 100 per cent boost in television ratings Gallop talked up the prospects of season nine.
"I can genuinely say our best years are still ahead of us," he said at Tuesday's launch. "Football will become the largest and most popular sport in this country.
"We are football, you are all part of it and I hope you're really excited about season nine."
The 2013/14 season will feature 10 clubs, 127 regular season fixtures, a sudden death finals series, international marquee players and an expanding group of talented Australian players who will all be hoping to book a place in the Socceroos squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
All matches will be broadcast LIVE and in HD by Fox Sports with SBS joining the Football Family to give the Hyundai A-League its first taste of free-to-air exposure, which will ensure the record numbers in TV ratings, crowds and memberships from 2012/13 takes another step forward.
FFA is also proud to announce a four-year media partnership with ABC radio, which will broadcast whistle-to-whistle uninterrupted live coverage of all 127 regular season games into households around the country on its ABC Radio platforms.
The coaching revolution that has seen the standard of the Hyundai A-League move forward will continue to drive the players but ultimately it is the fans who – “Power The Game”.
“The colour, noise and theatre created by the fans is truly unique in Australian sport and inspires our players and coaches to produce such fantastic football – the fans truly power the action we see,” Gallop said.
“It's a tribute to all the fans that create the atmosphere. To those fans who 'Power The Game', we say thanks for making the show what it is – and bring all your energy to the games this season."
The opening round of the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season offers fans some marquee games with a Grand Final replay between Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers as well as the first Melbourne Derby of the season.
The season kicks off with the Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets clash at Allianz Stadium on Friday night, which will be the first Hyundai A-League game to be broadcast live on free to air TV.