Gallop launches A-league 2015/16 season: 'We've cracked the mainstream'

After an interminably long pre-season the wait is almost over for football fans!

Season 11 of the A-League was officially launched on Tuesday with FFA chief, David Gallop, putting aside player pay disputes and financial dramas to push the game’s positives.

With just two days until the season opener the emphasis is on the growth of the A-League both on and off the pitch.

Globally, a record 84 Countries, outside of Australia and New Zealand, will broadcast A-League matches or highlights this season with a potential reach in excess of 250 million viewers.

The launch event was streamed live and included a video-conference hook-up with all 10 captains of the A-League clubs.

 “The Hyundai A-League has cracked the mainstream of Australian society and that’s a big deal, but we are just at the beginning of the journey,” Gallop said.

“This season we have seen a rise in the quality of the visa players committed to our A-League clubs. In seasons past, we’ve seen new arrivals become household names – Broich,  Berisha and Carrusca, to name a few.

“Last season, we had players unknown to our audiences who became fan favorites, players such as Ben Khalfallah, Marinkovic and Dimitrijevic. This season, there are more imports such as Sorensen, Leonardo, Holosko and Piovaccari will add to the excitement.

“But it’s not just the imports to watch out for, we have returning Socceroos in Bozanic, Franjic, Vidosic and Zullo who will line up with current Socceroos, McKay, Galekovic, Elrich and Mooy.

“To have these Socceroos within the ranks of the Hyundai A-League shows that the competition has come of age and is a legitimate platform to develop international players.”

The season will feature 135 regular season fixtures and six sudden death matches in the 2016 finals series, culminating with the Grand Final on Sunday May 1.

The launch took place at the Telstra Customer Insight Centre in Sydney – a fitting place to kick-off the season Gallop said.

“Football has the most tech savvy and connected fans in Australian Sport,” he added.

“They are youthful, cosmopolitan and passionate with an insatiable appetite to consume everything to do with football and we want feed this hunger for football amongst our fans as we all march towards a digital world.”

All A-League matches will be broadcast LIVE and in HD by Fox Sports and Sky Sports in New Zealand with SBS TV broadcasting one match live ever Friday as well as matches during the A-League 2016 Finals Series on one-hour delay.

Globally, a record 84 Countries, outside of Australia and New Zealand, will broadcast Hyundai A-League matches or highlights this season with a potential reach in excess of 250 million viewers.

ABC radio, which will broadcast uninterrupted live coverage of all regular season and A-League 2016 Finals Series games into households around the country on its ABC Radio platforms.

In addition Croc Media will broadcast Friday night matches and A-League 2016 Finals Series matches on radio stations throughout the Super Radio Network to 56 markets across regional New South Wales and southern Queensland as well into Victoria and Western Australia through various broadcasters.

The Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season will kick-off on Thursday when Western Sydney Wanderers hosting Brisbane Roar.

A-League 2015/16 Season – Round 1 Fixtures

Thursday, October 8      

Western Sydney Wanderers v Brisbane Roar FC               

Pirtek Stadium  8pm (AEDT)

Friday, October 9

Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory    

Adelaide Oval 7:10pm (local) 7:40pm (AEDT)

Saturday, October 10

Central Coast Mariners  v Perth Glory    

Central Coast Stadium   5:15pm (AEDT)

Sydney FC v Melbourne City

Allianz Stadium 7:30pm (AEDT)

Sunday, October 11

Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets

Westpac Stadium 7:00pm (local) 5pm (AEDT)