Season Eight of the Hyundai A-League will see the introduction of a new finals knock out format with six teams competing over a three week series climaxing in the Hyundai A-League 2013 Grand Final.
The new format adds more competitive tension by removing the double-chance for the top two, making every game knock out, with extra time and penalties to find a winner if required.
The 2012/13 Finals Series has been shortened to three weeks compared to the previous four-week series, with the top two teams rewarded by receiving a week off in the first week.
The revamped Hyundai A-League Finals Series will now become a straight knock-out cup style format with the 1st and 2nd placed teams taking advantage of a rest in Week 1 of the Finals Series before entering the Week 2 Semi-Finals.
Week 1 will see 3rd play 6th and 4th play 5th at the higher ranked team’s home venue in the Elimination Finals with the winners going through to play away against teams one and two.
Team one will then host the lowest ranked winner from Week 1 of the Finals Series, while team two will face the highest ranked winner from the Elimination Finals.
The highest ranked winner of the Week 2 Semi-Finals will go on to host the Hyundai A-League Grand Final in the final match of the season.
The exciting part of the revised finals series is that it will provide a cut-throat, cup-like atmosphere with no second chances granted to any side in the finals, putting all on notice that anything could happen, even if you do finish the regular season in first place.
“It was clear from the feedback from fans, media, broadcasters and clubs that the league retains 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,” said FFA CEO Ben Buckley.
“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.
“To intensify the Finals Series we have chosen to remove the preliminary final and replace it with two Semi-Final matches that will provide the platform for a highly energised and uncompromising cup style finals format.”
Click here to view all the fixtures for season 2012/13.