Open season awaits

Season 7 of the Hyundai A-League is set to be the most open yet, with players and coaches from all clubs having mixed responses to who they thought would be the team to beat when the season kicks off this Saturday.

Season 7 of the Hyundai A-League is set to be the most open yet, with players and coaches from all clubs having mixed responses to who they thought would be the team to beat when the season kicks off this Saturday.

The Hyundai A-League's elite got together at the launch of the new season at the Sydney Football Stadium on Tuesday, and when asked who they thought was the main threat to their side, were struggling to find a united voice.

"I think it's going to be a very tight year this year," Melbourne Victory captain Adrian Leijer said. "I think you look across the board and most teams have recruited really well."

"Obviously ourselves, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide will be up there again. But then you've got teams like the Mariners that are always hard to beat, Perth have recruited well, the Heart. Every team has recruited really well so it's going to be an exciting season."

Newcastle full back Tarek Elrich agreed that Sydney, Victory and the Roar were the one's to beat but that every side had a shot at the finals.

"If Brisbane do what they did last season they'll be a fair chance," he said.

"Melbourne with Harry there might add a bit, they've also got young Marco (Rojas) from Wellington as well who's a great player and they've got some other gifted players. It's going to be a tough one to call and I'm glad I'm not that expert that's calling it."

Wellington coach Ricki Herbert says the big clubs have an advantage in terms of resources, but thought that Adelaide, in their second season under Rini Coolen, and Perth, under Ian Ferguson, could make a considerable impression.

"Adelaide I think have recruited quite heavily, Perth have dipped pretty deep into the pockets and put some strength into their squad as well," he said.

"If I had to rule a line, we're talking about the Melbourne Cup here, I'd probably go back-to-back with Brisbane."

But Adelaide striker Bruce Djite think Melbourne Victory will emerge back to the top of the pile powered by their bevy of attacking stars.

"I think Melbourne Victory, their list is ridiculous," Djite said.

"We played them in a friendly game and the subs they made at half-time was frightening. They could have started in any other A-League team easily and they can't even make the starting line-up."

"And during the season there's only three players on the bench so some of them won't even make the bench which is a bit scary."

"But I think the A-League's one of those competitions where it's very even and you've got to be careful, you can't underestimate anyone. We'll respect all our opposition and look forward to playing everyone."