A-League Women set for more double-headers

Nearly half of the A-League Women regular season games will be held as double-header fixtures alongside A-League Men games as the leagues attempt to maximise broadcast and venue quality.

Of the 70 regular-season women’s games, 32 will be played on the same day at the same venue as their associated men’s teams, while at least six more games will be held as standalone fixtures at ‘tier one’ venues.

Reigning champions Melbourne Victory will play all seven of their home games as part of double-headers at AAMI Park.

A-Leagues commissioner Greg O’Rourke said double-headers ensured the “highest levels of broadcast quality” and games to be played in “top-quality” stadiums.

The first four rounds of the season will be played under a conference system, with the five NSW-based teams in one group, before the relaxation of state borders and quarantine rules opens up the draw, with the full fixture released on Tuesday.

Newcomers Wellington will start their season based in NSW and play several home games at Wollongong’s WIN Stadium, debuting against Western Sydney in the season opener on December 3.

But the Phoenix intend to play two games, against Adelaide and Perth, in New Zealand in February and March 2022.

Perth Glory’s home game venues are listed as “to be confirmed” while Melbourne City, Brisbane and Adelaide also have multiple unconfirmed home grounds.

The regular season will be held across 14 rounds, while the finals system has expanded to include a preliminary final.

The first and second placed teams will play off to progress directly to the grand final, with the loser facing the winner of the elimination final between the third and fourth-placed teams in the preliminary final.