The A-League is Australia’s premier national soccer competition, run by the country’s football governing body, the Football Federation Australia (FFA). It’s a competition that has grown significantly since its inauguration in 2004, when evolved from the old National Soccer League (NSL) as Australia’s top league. In conjunction with the A-League, FFA also run the W-League for women and the Youth League for young players aged between 16 and 21.
The competition itself is a round robin event contested by teams across the country. Generally sides play each other three times in the home and away fixture season.
There has been some attrition in the A-League, with a number of clubs falling by the wayside. These include North Queensland Fury (2009-2011), New Zealand Knights (2005-2007) and most recently Gold Coast United (2009-2012), which was owned and run by controversial mining magnate and politician Clive Palmer.
The top two sides which finish atop the A-League ladder at the end of the fixture season not only qualify for the finals, they also gain entry into the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL). Held between February and November each year, the ACL groups together the top sides in the Asia region to fight it out for continental supremacy. Western Sydney are the only A-league side to have won the ACL, claiming the title in their debut year in 2014.
The A-League has managed to attract some of the biggest stars of world football, with the likes of Dwight Yorke, Robbie Fowler, Alessandro Del Piero, David Villa and Australia's own Harry Kewell gracing the league. Their participation is one of the contributing factors to the league's significant spike in growth and popularity over the first decade.
|2014/2015||MELBOURNE VICTORY||SYDNEY FC||MELBOURNE VICTORY|
|2013/2014||BRISBANE ROAR||WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS||BRISBANE ROAR|
|2012/2013||CENTRAL COAST MARINERS||WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS||WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS|
|2011/2012||BRISBANE ROAR||PERTH GLORY||CENTRAL COAST MARINERS|
|2010/2011||BRISBANE ROAR||CENTRAL COAST MARINERS||BRISBANE ROAR|
|2009/2010||SYDNEY FC||MELBOURNE VICTORY||SYDNEY FC|
|2008/2009||MELBOURNE VICTORY||ADELAIDE UNITED||MELBOURNE VICTORY|
|2007/2008||NEWCASTLE JETS||CENTRAL COAST MARINERS||CENTRAL COAST MARINERS|
|2006/2007||MELBOURNE VICTORY||ADELAIDE UNITED||MELBOURNE VICTORY|
|2005/2006||SYDNEY FC||CENTRAL COAST MARINERS||ADELAIDE UNITED|