Australia's coach Graham Arnold during the loss to Japan
Australia coach Graham Arnold. Image Credit: AFP

The Socceroos’ World Cup preparations were given a boost today when Football Australia said the new domestic league season would begin on Oct. 7, giving coach Graham Arnold time to run the rule over candidates for his squad.

The A-League kicked off in November last season, and in December the season before that, but with the World Cup in Qatar opening on Nov. 21 Arnold was pushing for an early start.

Australia secured their place at the finals in June after coming through a pair of playoffs and will meet Denmark, Tunisia and reigning champions France in Group D.

“There are many major milestones that the game can capitalise on over the next 12-to-18 months, with the tailwinds of Australia’s participation at this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar,” said Football Australia chief executive James Johnson.

Season break

The season will break for the World Cup from Nov. 14 until Dec. 16, with another break for the international window in March. The league’s ‘Grand Final’ is scheduled to be held on the last weekend in May.

The A-League also confirmed that its women’s competition would expand to 12 from 10 teams over the next two seasons, with Western United joining for the 2022/23 campaign and Western Sydney Wanderers following 12 months later.

“We are just 12 months out from the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and we want to make sure that every girl and woman in Australia has the opportunity to build and grow a lasting relationship with football,” said A-League CEO Danny Townsend.