Football united under one banner

The Hyundai A-League 2011/2012 season was launched today with hundreds of players and supporters forming a giant WE ARE FOOTBALL sign in the middle of Sydney Football Stadium.

The Hyundai A-League 2011/2012 season was launched today with hundreds of players and supporters forming a giant WE ARE FOOTBALL sign in the middle of Sydney Football Stadium.

Captains, coaches and star players from all 10 Hyundai A-League clubs, Qantas Socceroos and Westfield Matildas players joined forces with supporters, junior players and the grassroots football community for the historic photograph.

The 60m wide WE ARE FOOTBALL message was captured by photographers circling above in helicopters and will be used as part of the season seven marketing campaign.

Football Federation Australia CEO Ben Buckley said the WE ARE FOOTBALL campaign is about celebrating being part of the game and sharing all the good things it brings.

“We know that there are 2.5 million Australians who talk, watch or play football - they love the game,” Buckley said.

“They are players, volunteers, referees and fans. They make the game what it is.

“In recognition of that passionate love of the game, we've made the fans the centrepiece of our new marketing campaign for the Hyundai A-League season seven.

"WE ARE FOOTBALL is the catch-cry for the new campaign, which captures the passion of the people in the Australian football community. The campaign makes the fans the true heroes.”

The Hyundai A-League kicks off this Saturday, 8 October with some blockbuster clashes.

“It is fair to say that this is the most anticipated start to a season since the buzz of the inaugural season back in 2005,” Buckley said.

“The homecoming of Qantas Socceroos stars Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton has proved what we've always said - that the Hyundai A-League is fast emerging as one of Asia's top professional competitions.

“Already club memberships are up 20 per cent on last year and tickets to the early marquee and derby fixtures are selling fast - especially in Melbourne for Saturday night-s showdown between Victory and Sydney FC.”

Buckley said the forthcoming season had a new-look in many ways.

Some of them include;

• A new season window from October to April to give the league clear air in a crowded sporting calendar • A new schedule that starts with marquee and derby games, none bigger than Saturday night's Victory versus Sydney FC blockbuster and the Grand Final re-match between Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners. • A new Community Round that will take A-League games to new markets and regions in Launceston, Morwell, Bathurst, Dunedin and Campbelltown, in the game's western Sydney heartland • A world-first A-League marathon with five games back-to-back, almost 8 hours of football across multiple time zones • Mid week matches on the holiday period and festive fixtures on Boxing Day, New Year-s Day and Australia Day. • Regular match times on Foxsports to help maximise appeal to television audiences. • A new, powerful digital platform with new websites, mobile sites and mobile phone apps - to be launched this week with digital partner Optus.

The Hyundai A-League kicks-off with:

• Saturday, 8 October, Newcastle Jets FC v Melbourne Heart FC, Ausgrid Stadium, 4.30pm AEST • Saturday, 8 October, Melbourne Victory FC v Sydney FC, Etihad Stadium, 6.30pm AEST • Saturday, 8 October, Brisbane Roar FC v Central Coast Mariners FC, Suncorp Stadium, 8.45pm AEST • Sunday, 9 October, Gold Coast United v Wellington Phoenix FC, Skilled Park, 5.00pm AEST • Sunday, 9 October, Perth Glory FC v Adelaide United, nib Stadium, 7.30pm AEST

The home and away series ends on Sunday, 25 March, with the Hyundai A-League 2012 Grand Final closing out the season on Sunday, 22 April.