The A-League is the premier football league in Australasia, incorporating teams from across both Australia and New Zealand. The A-League is an extremely young competition, having formed in 2004 and conducting its first season in 2005-06.
The A-League is competed during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer, from August to February, similar to the popular European leagues. Eight clubs contested the A-League title in 2008-09, each playing 21 games. In 2009-10, two new Queensland-based teams will be added to the competition, Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury. Each team will play one another three times throughout the competition, increasing the length of each team’s regulation season from 21 to 27 games.
Comparable to the MLS, the A-League has managed to entice prominent figures in the football world to Australia. Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) approval of a marquee player for each team who is exempt from the salary cap has allowed international stars to play in the prestigious Australian competition.
Former Aston Villa and Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke was the first big name to be signed to the A-League. While only playing one season for Sydney FC, Yorke was given the captaincy of the first-team and named best player of the Grand Final. Other notable A-League players, past and present, include: Brazilian international, Juninho (Sydney FC); Liverpool’s “God”, Robbie Fowler (North Queensland Fury); Glasgow Rangers star, Charlie Miller (Brisbane Roar); and one of the most prolific strikers in the world, Romário (Adelaide United).
Betting on A-League matches is becoming increasingly popular not just in Australia, but Asia and all around the world. Since 2007, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) awarded the two A-League Grand Finalists the right to compete in the AFC Champions League (the equivalent of Europe’s UEFA Champions League). Since that time, betting on A-League and AFC Champions League matches has become more popular, and with two new clubs set to join the 2009-10 season there will doubtless be stiffer competition with more exciting odds. BetUS posts odds on every A-League and AFC Champions League match.
The new A-League season begins on the August 6, 2009.