Football Australia have today released the Australian Football Domestic Match Calendar (DMC) for the 2021/22 competitive year which will commence on October 29, 2021 and conclude on October 28, 2022.
The start of the A-League season will kickoff proceedings on the DMC, with the 2022 FFA Cup Final acting as the conclusion.
By establishing the DMC 2021/22, the Australian football community have made a major step towards securing a firm connection within the domestic football pyramid by further aligning seasons and setting transfer windows that are accessible by all the relevant competitions.
For the first time, Football Australia has reached agreement with the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) that the A-League and Westfield W-League will break for the applicable FIFA Men’s and Women’s International Windows, as specified in the IMC. Due to the ongoing effects of COVID, exceptions to this principle will be applied if needed.
Football Australia CEO James Johnson identified the DMC 2021/22 as an essential initiative and significant regulatory function of Football Australia following the unbundling of the Professional Leagues from Football Australia.
“The release of the DMC 2021/22 marks the culmination of an extensive process of dialogue with stakeholders, involving the APL, Member Federations and Professional Footballers Association (PFA),” he said.
“Developing the DMC 2021/22 in a COVID environment has presented challenges, however the process has underscored the importance of the DMC 2021/22 and the role it plays in bringing all parts of the game together.
“Notably, we believe that the DMC 2021/22 places Australian football at its core. It opens with the commencement of the A-League and concludes with the FFA Cup 2022 Final as the last match of the Football Australia Season – two (2) iconic moments in the season which all fans can look forward to.
“We have also, for the first time, agreed with the APL that the A-League and Westfield W-League will cease play in FIFA Men’s and Women’s International Windows allowing the football community to focus on key events in the calendar without conflict. This doesn’t, however, preclude Westfield W-League matches being scheduled during men’s FIFA international windows, nor does it preclude A-League matches being played in women’s FIFA international windows.
“The alignment of finish dates for NPL competitions and the introduction of a finals weekend for NPL competitions across the country (NPL Men’s on 11 September and NPL Women’s on 25 September), is also a significant achievement of the DMC 2021/22. We believe this helps to lift the profile of the NPL competitions in each Member Federation and will over time, also increase the prestige and value.
“The DMC 2021/22 also incorporates a placeholder for a National Second Tier competition (NST), noting that the format of this competition has not yet been finalised. The placeholder is an important first step towards the creation of this competition, allowing for its ongoing development and subject to finalisation of the model, can be adjusted within the DMC framework.”