International breaks in A-L, W-L seasons

Melbourne City's Jamie MaClaren missed last year's A-League finals due to international duties.
Melbourne City's Jamie MaClaren missed last year's A-League finals due to international duties.

International breaks will return to the A-League and W-League for the upcoming season in a bid to largely avoid the "crazy" club versus country conundrum.

The A-League season will kick off on October 30 while the W-League will resume two weeks later on November 13 when the men's competition will pause for the international window.

That should avoid a repeat of the situation last season when a number of star Australian players, including Melbourne City's golden boot winner Jamie Maclaren, missed the finals due to international duties.

Connor Metcalfe, Curtis Good, Rhyan Grant, Denis Genreau, Ruon Tongyik and Ryan McGowan were other Socceroos caught up in the situation.

Melbourne City coach Patrick Kisnorbo said it was "crazy" the A-League finals were played during an international break.

This season, the A-League will pause during the men's international window to allow players to feature for their country before returning to club land.

The 2021/22 A-League grand final has been scheduled for May 28 next year.

As with last season, the fixtures calendar will contain a number of contingency measures to allow for disruption caused by COVID-19 and associated border closures.

For example A-League clubs will be able to schedule matches on the weekend of 29 and 30 January that occur during this window - created specifically by FIFA for COVID considerations - but will still be required to release their players for international duties.

The A-League and W-League will be shown on Network 10 and online streaming service Paramount+ after a lucrative new broadcast deal was negotiated earlier this year.

The deal is reportedly worth $200 million over five years, with an option to trigger a three-year extension.

Australian Associated Press