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A-League back to 10 teams and all systems go for season 2012/13

Official release from Football Australia

The Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season Draw was officially released today with 135 matches spread across a 26 Week regular season for the 10 competing clubs before ramping it up with a refreshed Hyundai A-League Finals Series.

The Hyundai A-League 2012/13 season kicks off in clear air on Friday 5 October with a Melbourne derby at Etihad Stadium and the first round wraps with a rematch of the Hyundai A-League 2012 Grand Final between Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar at Pattersons Stadium in Perth.

Week 3 sees the inaugural Sydney derby with the soon-to-be-named Western Sydney team hosting Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League's explosive new rivalry.

Season Eight of the Hyundai A-League will also see the introduction of a new knockout finals format with six teams competing over a three week series climaxing in the Hyundai A-League 2013 Grand Final.

This season also sees the Hyundai A-League focus on key calendar dates including a match on Good Friday in Newcastle, three Australia Day matches in Melbourne, Western Sydney and Perth, New Year's football in Gosford and Adelaide and for the first time ever the Hyundai A-League will take over New Year's Day with back-to-back matches in Brisbane, Melbourne and Western Sydney.

Season 8 will also see the return of the Community Fixtures with matches set to be played in Dunedin, Launceston and Campbelltown.

"After the success of Season 7, which saw marked increases in crowds, TV audiences, memberships and digital traffic, FFA is excited to announce the Hyundai A-League 2012/13 season draw will deliver a weekly menu of entertaining and exhilarating football," said FFA CEO Ben Buckley.

"We've listened to the fans and consulted clubs, broadcast partners, media and venues to design a draw that is both consistent and compelling.

"Personally, I am excited by the revamped Hyundai A-League Finals Series. It was clear from the feedback that the league should retain a Top Six system and that it also creates a more fiercely contested Finals Series, with the top six teams all fighting for a place in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final.

"To facilitate this and to rejuvenate the format, FFA wanted to reduce the repetitive nature of the previous system where in the past teams have played each other three times in the four week format.

"The decision to intensify the Hyundai A-League Finals Series lead to the removal of the preliminary final to replace it with two Semi-Final matches that will provide the platform for a highly energised and uncompromising cup style finals format and allow for a more challenging and thrilling Hyundai A-League 2013 Finals Series."

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