Players want ‘flexible’ A-League draw

Players’ union Professional Footballers Australia has called for “flexible scheduling” as A-League bosses battle COVID-19-enforced border restrictions to finalise the new season’s fixture list.

On Wednesday, Adelaide United coach Carl Veart told News Corp Australia his Reds squad – currently in lockdown with the rest of South Australia – were bracing themselves for the possibility of moving to NSW to allow them to properly prepare for an A-League season due to start on December 27.

Veart also revealed there was a chance Adelaide’s first match of the season – scheduled for December 29 on a draft draw he had seen – could be delayed.

Adelaide’s plight has the PFA concerned about fixture scheduling and player welfare.

“The evolving and unpredictable nature of the situation underscores the need for flexible scheduling to allow the competition, the clubs and the players to manage the challenges posed by COVID,” a PFA spokesman said.

Football Federation Australia hope to release draws for the A-League and W-League – also due to start on December 27 – next week.

#SupportingThePlayers #MyPFA

Congrats to @Socceroos legend @Tim_Cahill, former @TheMatildas Dianne Alagich, @joeypeters10 and Tal Karp, former @NZ_Football international @glen_moss and PFA Chair from 2008-2014, John Poulakakis, who have been ratified as PFA Life Members 🙌

“We are monitoring the situation in Adelaide and the impact it has on the forthcoming season,” an A-League spokesman said.

“We are still working through the draw and iterations not only for Adelaide but other border restrictions that are currently in place.”

The PFA on Thursday announced that Socceroos and Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan, and Macarthur FC winger Tommy Oar had been appointed to its executive.

Oar said COVID-19 had presented a “number of challenges” for Australian football and players.

“I hope to be able to … help my fellow footballers and ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and information necessary to have successful careers,” Oar said.

Ryan, the only Australian playing in the English Premier League, said: “There has been a long list of influential players who have helped to shape the careers of Australia’s professional footballers over many years and it has long been an ambition of mine to help give back to the next generation in an official capacity.

“It’s important that the game ensures the voice of Australia’s footballers is visible within decision-making as we continue to help shape our footballers into the best players and people they can be.”

Originally published asPlayers want ‘flexible’ A-League draw

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