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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Canberra United raring to go with W-League start date

Canberra United will start solidifying its squad and commence training, after the Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced the season will kick off from 27 December.

For the first time, both the W-League and A-League will begin on the same date, 27 December, with full fixtures for both leagues expected to be released early next month.

Canberra United Westfield W-League head coach Vicki Linton said it was a relief to now have a start date to work towards.

“Obviously, there’s a lot to do now but it’s really good to have a date we can work from and get things going,” she said.

“We’re now going to be able to solidify things with contracts and once we do that, we can round out the squad.”

Linton has slowly been announcing her squad since mid-September, signing seven members so far.

The 2020/21 Westfield W-League season will still consist of 14 rounds, six games at home and six away, with the grand final in April.

The competition usually kicks off during November but has been plagued by uncertainty due to COVID-19.

Linton said at this stage, she hadn’t been notified of plans for an adjusted season or a “players’ bubble” if COVID-19 restrictions are re-instated.

“That hasn’t come up to my knowledge at my level, but there may be internal discussions about that,” she said.

“At the moment, we’re planning on a normal season and travelling.”

FFA Head of Leagues, Greg O’Rourke, said the new competition schedule would see the top tier competitions playing in sync with local grassroots competitions.

“This year’s calendar sees us kicking off two seasons of Australia’s best football on the same day, right in the middle of summer,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“With families at home together during the holiday season, great weather, and games broadcast live on multiple platforms, there are so many ways for fans to be close to the action, at home or in the stadium.”

The A-League season will see 161 matches over 23 weeks, and a grand final during June.

Linton said she was hoping to get as many spectators to the games as possible within COVID restraints.

“There will be limitations and maybe as we go along those may lift, but hopefully, we get some fans and it’s just great for everyone to get out and watch some games.”

All matches across both leagues will be broadcast on the My Football Live App, Fox Sports and Kayo, with some matches also airing on ABC TV.

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