The storylines you need to know

The excitement is reaching fever pitch with the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season now hours away.

Over the past 30 days, we have been counting down all the big storylines ahead of the 15th Hyundai A-League campaign.

It all begins tonight with Champions Sydney FC travelling to the City of Churches to face FFA Cup 2019 Finalists Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.

To cover yourself with everything you need to know, scan through the list below and track back over 30 days of facts and stats.


ULTIMATE GUIDE: What you need to know about the 2019/20 Season
HOW TO WATCH: Every game in the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season

1 day to go: The race for the Premiers’ Plate

Just one sleep to go!

After a long off-season, the Hyundai A-League is back tomorrow night with the opening game of the 2019/20 Season between Adelaide United and Sydney FC at Coopers Stadium.

It’s the first of 145 games that will be played over 29 Rounds to decide which club will be the next Premiers.

Will it be more glory for Perth in 2019/20 or can a new challenger emerge over the next six months?

2 days to go: Which clubs will reach the 2020 decider?

In two days time the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season will officially get underway, the start of the long and winding journey to the Grand Final.

Perth Glory and Sydney FC may have both started their 2018/19 Seasons with a draw in Round 1, but they were eventually the last two teams standing on the final day of the campaign.

Which two clubs will remain after 29 rounds and two weeks of Finals to be the sides that will go head-to-head in the 2020 Hyundai A-League decider?

Will Glory and the Sky Blues be the combatants again or will some new contenders emerge this time around?

Can’t wait to find out!

3 days to go: Not long until the first Sydney Derby

Three days to go until the new campaign kicks off with Sydney FC travelling to Adelaide United - but it's the Sky Blues' trip to Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 3 that we're salivating even more.

Round 3 will see the return of the Sydney Derby, the first rivalry match at the new Bankwest Stadium, and the first of the season.

A win for Western Sydney would truly announce the Red and Black as contenders, while Sydney FC will be looking to give their Championship defence a significant boost by clinching the first Derby win back in the spiritual home of their neighbours.

4 days to go: Can Sydney or Victory break new ground?

With four days to go, we're looking at the two four-time Hyundai A-League Champions: Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory.

The Big Blue rivals are the only clubs in history to have won the Championship on four occasions.

Could there be a high-five in the offing for either in 2019/20? 

5 days to go: Mark round five down as Remembrance Round

The countdown to the start of the new Hyundai A-League season is down to five days and the number five will certainly be a significant one in 2019/20.

Round five, to be precise, will see the FFA and each club team up with the Australian Defence Force for Remembrance Round.

The round is dedicated to remembering and acknowledging the service men and women who sacrificed their lives during times of conflict, with pre-match ceremonies taking place at each match in the round.

The football family will also be raising funds for the Poppy Appeal, a charity which changes the lives of veterans and their families.

Remembrance Round

6 days to go... and a week from our first big derby day!

The countdown to our first Hyundai A-League clash of 2019/20 is edging ever closer but - let's not forget our first huge derby follows swiftly after!

A week today, we will be dissecting the action from the Adelaide United-Sydney FC opener and preparing for a Melbourne Derby of epic proportions on Saturday, 12 October.

It's all change in the dugouts for the first time in an age, as former Reds chief Marco Kurz leads out Victory and City are orchestrated by French tactician Erick Mombaerts. 

After Victory failed to get one over City in their three clashes in 2018/19, which side of the Melbourne divide will launch the new era of this heated rivalry on top at Marvel Stadium? 

 

7 days to go: Adelaide United and Sydney FC ready to open the season!

Just one more week!

This time next week we’ll be getting set for the curtain to rise on the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season.

The new campaign gets underway at Coopers Stadium, with FFA Cup finalists Adelaide United taking on Sydney FC on Friday, October 11, with kick-off at 7.30pm AEDT.

It’s a repeat of last season’s opening match, where Adam Le Fondre’s late strike cancelled out Scott Galloway’s long-range stunner as the Reds and Sky Blues played out a gripping 1-1 draw.

Will there be a winner this time? Make sure you’re watching because it should be a thriller!

8 days to go: Which club has made the best off-season signing?

There's some exciting new faces set to feature in the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season.

From big-name international stars like Alessandro Diamanti and Alex Meier, to more familiar faces like Riley McGree and Andrew Nabbout, every club has made some key additions to the squad for the upcoming campaign.

But which new recruit is set to have the biggest impact?

We don't have to wait too much longer to find out!

9 days to go: Who will be the league’s leading scorer?

The goal-scoring no.9. They are essential to any successful team.

And there is some exceptional striking talent right across the Hyundai A-League in the 2019/20 Season.

From Sydney FC’s prolific Englishman Adam Le Fondre to Brisbane Roar recruit Roy O’Donovan and Melbourne Victory star Andrew Nabbout, there are plenty of candidates to finish with the Golden Boot.

10 days to go: The players who'll have pulses racing

Sporting the no.10 jersey typically comes with a responsibility to get pulses racing.

And that old fact will be no different in the upcoming 2019/20 Season, with a huge range of play-makers and forwards wearing that famous number set to entertain the crowds.

From the silky skills of Sydney FC star Milos Ninkovic, to the panache of Western United's Panagiotis Kone and the drive of Melbourne Victory's Robbie Kruse, these are the players of whom big things are expected.

11 days to go: Welcome, Western United

This campaign, the Hyundai A-League will be in eleventh heaven, all thanks to the arrival of the competition's newest club: Western United. 

While fans across the country now have another Melbourne Derby to look forward to, the new kids on the block have also given the competition a real shake up.

So while the last eight seasons of the competition – which has featured 10 clubs – has seen 27 rounds, the 2019/20 campaign will have 29 rounds, given the need to facilitate a weekly bye into the draw.

12 days to go: October 12 is the day Hyundai A-League football return to Wanderland

It's been three years since Western Sydney Wanderers last kicked a ball in competitive action at their spiritual home in Parramatta, but the long wait ends on Saturday, October 12.

Just like they were the first time the Red and Black walked out at the old Pirtek Stadium, some seven years ago on October 6, 2012, the Central Coast Mariners are the visitors.

The Western Sydney history books opened with a 0-0 goalless stalemate. Markus Babbel and his 2019/20 squad will be eager to kickstart the second coming to the Parramatta with more fireworks than that fateful day.

The news of playmaker Radi Majewski's injury will have derailed Babbel's plans somewhat but the exciting recent arrivals of Caltex Socceroo Matthew Jurman and Bundesliga star Alex Meier will give the Wanderers faithful hope for a special season at Bankwest Stadium.

That said, it will be a huge ask for Western Sydney to repeat the heroics of their inaugural season in Parramatta. Alen Stajcic's Mariners will be primed to crash the homecoming party. 

Wanderland

13 days to go: Will Reddy be the man to beat again in 2019/20

It's likely that last season's Perth Glory side will be best remembered for their thrill-a-minute, free-scoring attack but the 2018/19 Premiers' rock-solid backline deserves an equal amount of recognition.

Tony Popovic's men lead the Hyundai A-League in goals scored, with 56, but they also delivered the best defensive record with only 23 goals against — the only team to register fewer than a goal a game conceded on average.

One of the key cogs in that engine was goalkeeper Liam Reddy, who racked up a league-high 13 clean sheets behind a steely three-man backline.

Reddy also produced penalty shootout heroics against Adelaide to book Glory's place in the Grand Final in the match voted by a-league.com.au readers as the game of the season but could not repeat that display in the big dance as Sydney FC were crowned champions. 

Keen observers of Popovic's work will expect another stubborn Glory unit to take the field in 2019/20, but will any other net minders step up to take golden glove honours?

Andrew Redmayne stole the show in the Grand Final for Sydney FC while Filip Kurto had a stellar Hyundai A-League debut season before switching Wellington Phoenix for Western United.

Then there are the new faces — like Melbourne City's Tom Glover, Nix's Kiwi number one Stefan Marinovic or Western Sydney's Swiss shot-stopper Daniel Lopar — who could content for top goalkeeping honours in 2019/20. 

Liam Reddy

14 days to go: Which clubs will be lifting the silverware at the end of this season?

With just two weeks to go until the start of the new campaign, the battle for glory begins in earnest.

Over the first 14 years of the competition, we’ve seen seven different clubs win the Premiers’ Plate, while six of those have got their hands on the Championship trophy.

Perth Glory’s Premiership last season saw a new club earn their spot on the Hyundai A-League honour roll.

Can another team earn their first piece of Hyundai A-League silverware in 2019/20 or will it be one of the perennial contenders that goes all the way?

Can’t wait to find out!

15 days to go: Celebrating 15 seasons of the Hyundai A-League

It’s so close that you can almost touch it!

There’s just 15 days until the curtain lifts on the new campaign, which is the 15th Season of the Hyundai A-League.

We’ve been treated to so many magical moments and highlights over the last 14 years and the 2019/20 Season is already shaping up to be the biggest and best yet.

16 days to go: Can Victory get revenge for Semi Final disaster?

When the draw came out for the 2019/20 Season, you can be sure everyone associated with Melbourne Victory put a circle around the date Saturday, November 16.

That’s the night the club will return to the scene of last season’s embarrassing Semi Final shellacking against bitter rivals Sydney FC at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

In what was the final Hyundai A-League match at the club for the likes of coach Kevin Muscat, skipper Carl Valeri and Keisuke Honda, Victory were spanked 6-1.

If Victory are to move on from one of the darkest days in the club’s history, they’ll be hell-bent on getting some retribution at the home of the Sky Blues.

Coming up against their former star Kosta Barbarouses - who has swapped navy blue for sky blue in the off-season – only adds to the spice of the always fiesty #BigBlue match-up.

17 days to go: Which teams will make the big dance?

It’s the game every team aspires to play in at the beginning of each season.

For all 11 clubs, being there on the last day of the season in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final is what the upcoming campaign is all about.

It was Perth Glory and Sydney FC that had that honour last season and those two combatants will be desperate to get back on the big stage in 2019/20.

But there are sure to be plenty of other sides looking to stake their claim on the title-deciding fixture when the season gets underway on October 11.

18 days to go: Fowler faces Glory in Round 1

Robbie Fowler’s assignment at Brisbane Roar is the former Premier League great's first coaching role - other than a brief stint as player-coach at Thai outfit Muangthong United in 2011/12.

But Fowler, who scored 183 goals in 369 games for Premier League giants Liverpool and also turned out for Leeds United and Manchester City, is no stranger to the Hyundai A-League having played for North Queensland Fury (in 2009/10) and Perth Glory (2010/11).

The 26-cap England international scored 18 goals on Australian soil, nine apiece for North Queensland and Perth.  

And his first Hyundai A-League match in charge of the Roar comes against Glory on October 13.

19 days to go: F3 Derby looms

The first F3 Derby of the new campaign takes place on October 19, with Central Coast Mariners welcoming rivals Newcastle Jets to Gosford.

And if that one is anything like the last meeting between the two sides, fans are in for a real treat.

That, of course, was the Mariners' famous 3-2 victory at Newcastle back in March - a crazy encounter that saw Central Coast 'keeper Ben Kennedy write his name into Gosford folklore with his stoppage time heroics from the penalty spot.

We can't wait to see what the next instalment holds. 

20 days to go: Games outside of home cities

In Round 20, Brisbane Roar FC will host Perth Glory at Dolphin Stadium in Redcliffe, but that's just one of a number of games that will be played outside of the hosts' home city.

Here is the full list:

Fixtures played outside Home Cities

  • Round 9 - Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers FC @ Eden Park, Auckland - Saturday, 7 December 2019
  • Round 19 - Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City FC @ Eden Park, Auckland - Saturday, 15 February 2020
  • Round 12 - Western United FC v Wellington Phoenix @ Mars Stadium, Ballarat - Saturday, 28 December 2019
  • Round 19 - Western United FC v Brisbane Roar FC @ Mars Stadium, Ballarat - Sunday, 16 February 2020
  • Round 25 - Western United FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC @ Mars Stadium, Ballarat - Sunday, 29 March 2020
  • Round 6 - Brisbane Roar FC v Melbourne City FC @ Dolphin Stadium, Redcliffe - Sunday, 17 November 2019
  • Round 20 - Brisbane Roar FC v Perth Glory @ Dolphin Stadium, Redcliffe - Sunday, 23 February 2020
  • Round 27 - Brisbane Roar FC v Newcastle Jets @ Dolphin Stadium, Redcliffe - Sunday, 12 April 2020

21 days to go: Only three weeks remain

Need we say more?

There are now only three weeks to go until the new campaign gets underway with Adelaide United hosting Sydney FC on Friday, October 11 at 7:30pm AEST.

Get out your red pen and calendar, because we're getting really close now!

22 days to go: Get out to matches to support your club!

Melbourne Victory lead the way when it came to attendance numbers last season with an average of just over 22,000 per home match!

Will they retain the biggest fan following or will another club take the mantle in 2019/20?

Tickets and memberships are available now for purchase!

23 days to go: Which Western United FC signing will make the biggest impact?

The Hyundai A-League's newest club has signed up 22 players, but which one will make the biggest impact for Western United FC?

One man to keep your eyes on is Alessandro Diamanti, who will be wearing the no. 23 this season.

The Italian international has played for some of the biggest clubs and in some of the biggest leagues around the world. He will be an important creative outlet for United - but he's not their only weapon.

Diamanti has a former teammate in Greece international Panagiotis Kone alongside him, while United also boast the likes of former Caltex Socceroos forward Scott McDonald, as well as youngster Valentino Yuel, who has impressed Kone in pre-season.

United also have experience across the park in Hyundai A-League veteran, Andrew Durante, 2018/19 Goalkeeper of the Season, Filip Kurto, Turkish defender, Ersan Gulum, and Australian full-back, Josh Risdon.

EVERY SIGNING: See all of Western United FC's players

24 days to go: What will be the fastest goal scored this season?

Over 14 seasons of the Hyundai A-League, 24 goals have been scored within the first 60 seconds of a match.

Last season, Aaron Calver, Ritchie De Laet and David Williams all scored within the first minute, while you have to go back to the inaugural season for the fastest goal in Hyundai A-League history when Louis Brain found the net after just 11 seconds back in 2005.

So, who will score the fastest goal in 2019/20?

25 days to go: Can Fornaroli fire Perth one step further?

Is Bruno Fornaroli the missing piece of the Perth Glory jigsaw?

Perth fans will certainly hope so.

Fornaroli - who was snared by Tony Popovic after his exit from Melbourne City last February - scored 57 goals in all competitions for the Victorians.

The Uruguayan side had joined City in 2015, and scored 25 goals in his debut 2015/16 campaign to wrap up the Golden Boot.

If he even goes close to replicating that kind of form, Perth will be a real force to be reckoned with.

26 days to go: What will the ladder look like after the final game?

Perth Glory and Central Coast Mariners will play the final game of the 2019/20 Season on April 26, 2020 - and it's one that could be crucial in determining Finals Series spots.

With 11 clubs now in the competition, five teams will miss out on the top six and the opportunity to vie for the Championship in the Grand Final.

Last season's Premiers, Glory, closed the 2018/19 Season with a resounding 5-0 win to launch a strong run into the Finals Series.

But, with a new feel to the Mariners under coach Alen Stajcic, Central Coast will be aiming to secure a spot in the top six. That final game of the season against Perth could prove crucial.

EVERY SIGNING: Central Coast Mariners
EVERY SIGNING: Perth Glory

27 days to go: A new rivalry will be born

October 13. Mark it down in your calendar.

This, of course, is the date of Western United's first Hyundai A-League match - away to Wellington Phoenix.

But it could also be the birth of a bitter rivalry, as former Phoenix stalwart Mark Rudan leads the league newcomers across the ditch.

Wellington were a club reborn under Rudan's tutelage in 2018/19, before he left New Zealand with a year remaining on his contract. 

And when he returns to the Kiwi capital with Andrew Durante, Max Burgess and Filip Kurto in tow, who all joined Rudan in Melbourne, the new kids on the block are sure to receive a baptism of fire.

28 days to go: Can Kurz lead Victory back to the top?

As usual, the winds of change swept through the Hyundai A-League in pre-season.

There were big intra-club transfers - see Sydney FC's double swoop for Alexander Baumjohann and Kosta Barbarouses, from rivals Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory - exciting new faces from abroad, and some familiar ones who have returned Down Under too.

But the coaching line up was given a big reshuffle too, and one of the biggest shifts was that of Marco Kurz's move from Adelaide United to Melbourne Victory.

The German won 28 matches during his two-term post in the City of Churches, making back to back FFA Cup Finals, and winning the 2018 edition against Sydney FC.

Kurz was unveiled as Kevin Muscat's successor back in June. Is he the man to bring more silverware to the four-time Champions of Australia?

INS AND OUTS: Melbourne Victory

29 days to go: Will there be a 20th player to score on their #MelbDerby debut?

The battle for supremacy in Melbourne may have a new player this season – with the introduction of Western United FC – but it’s City and Victory that meet in the opening round.

Both clubs – under new coaches with Erick Mombaerts at City and Marco Kurz at Victory – have recruited strongly and what better way for the new faces to endear themselves to their fans by scoring in their derby debut.

Jamie Maclaren became the 19th player from either club to score in their first Melbourne Derby when he slotted a penalty in the 1-1 draw at the end of last season.

In doing so, Maclaren joins the likes of Ola Toivonen, Keisuke Honda, Tim Cahill, Besart Berisha and Ritchie De Laet to score in their first #MelbDerby.

Will there be a 20th in the opening round blockbuster at Marvel Stadium?

FIXTURES: What the opening round Derby will tell us about City
FIXTURES: Why Victory need to make early statement in battle for Melbourne

30 days to go: Adelaide United and Sydney FC open the season at Coopers Stadium

Coopers is sure to be rocking as the new campaign gets underway with a clash between two sides that are establishing a feisty little rivalry in recent seasons.

Adelaide United and Sydney FC have met in the last two FFA Cup Finals and the intensity level always seems to go up a notch when they square off.

The Reds will be keen to get off to a flying start in front of their home fans in what will be new coach Gertjan Verbeek’s first Hyundai A-League match in charge.

It’s sure to be a tough test against the reigning champions, who will head to the City of Churches with a beefed-up squad ready to begin their title defence on the right note.

So mark down Friday, October 11 in your diaries as we begin the first of 150 matches to decide the next Hyundai A-League Champions.

NEW THREADS: Reds unveil fresh strip for 2019/20 Season
FIXTURES: The Sydney Derby clash set to get blood boiling