Former Socceroo Craig Moore believes Australian football must have a unified vision about whether it would be best to play the A-League in winter.
Top-flight football has not been played in winter for over 30 years, with the National Soccer League making the switch to summer in the 1989/90 season.
But with recent concerns over the heat and air quality – which has seen several Youth and W-League matches postponed – discussions are in place towards shifting the professional football calendar.
While a move to winter would better align the A-League with competitions in Asia, the greatest concerns lie of the availability of stadia in Australia.
Moore, who experienced the transition from winter to summer football when he returned to Australia in 2007 after 13 years playing in the UK, says a move to winter would require a “massive amount of investment” in the game.
“I don’t really have a preference but make a decision and either way for me I’m a supporter,” he said.
“If it’s based off the calendar year that reflects our position within Asia, then fine no problem. If we stick to the European type season, where we can see our season drag out a little longer because we’re going to have more teams, again, I have no issue with that.
“For me it’s coming up with a decisive answer of what that’s going to be and you’re going to get behind and support it. If we go back to winter, we need a massive, massive amount of investment in the game.”
Much has also been said about how the conditions impact the quality and style of play, with Moore linking the transitional game-plans seen in the A-League to the warmer conditions and dryer pitches.
“I’ve just come back from the UK and it was football every day and you watch the tempo and it’s off the radar and then you look at the games here and our game has become very stretched,” he said.
“They’ve become very much transitional games which have become end-to-end, so you don’t really have that intensity or buzz because the conditions certainly play a role, dry pitches as well.
“The pitch is sticky, therefore when things get knocked around the deck it’s a little slower whereas in Europe there’s always a little bit of water on the field so the ball’s sliding around.”
Featured Image: Julian Smith