The Hyundai A-League turns three

The Hyundai A-League turns three today.

In the past three years of the born again premier domestic football competition just on 3.8 million people have attended a Hyundai A-League game.

The first Hyundai A-League match took place on 26 August 2005 when Newcastle Jets met Adelaide United at Energy Australia Stadium.

According to Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO, Ben Buckley, the growth of the Hyundai A-League has contributed significantly to the seachange in perception of football in Australia.

“After only three years, the Hyundai A-League competition is now an important placeholder in the national sporting landscape and we-re on a growth trajectory.

“We continue to build on our success and are working on a variety of initiatives to develop the Hyundai A-League competition even further,” Buckley said.

Key to this is expansion of the competition beyond its current eight teams with the FFA Board set to consider further proposals towards the end of this week.

In the past three years:

- 278 games have been played

- 735 goals have been scored

- there have been 2.6 goals per game

- average crowd attendance has been 13,614, and

- 349 players have taken the field.

Of the 88 starters who kicked-off on in round 1 three years ago, 38 players (43%) remain with the competition.

Buckley said that membership numbers of the eight Hyundai A-League clubs are up more than 20% compared with the same time last year.

“The momentum continues in the fourth season with 19 goals scored last round - almost 5 per game,” Buckley said.

“With early in-form players such as Shannon Cole, Shane Smeltz, Amaral, Eugene Dadi, Charlie Miller, Joel Griffiths and Ney Fabiano in the outfield, and one of Australia-s greats in Mark Bosnich making a welcome return in goal this week, the Hyundai A-League is positioned for even greater excitement as the season warms up.”

Hyundai A-League matches this week include:

- a Friday night clash between current leaders, Melbourne Victory and 2008 champions, Newcastle Jets at Telstra Dome;

- Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday;

- Sydney FC v Perth Glory at Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday; and

- Queensland Roar v Central Coast Mariners v Suncorp Stadium also on Sunday.