A-League changes announced

The 2009/10 Australian A-League season will kick off earlier on August 6, feature two new teams, six more rounds of football and increase the finals series to six teams, Football Federation Australia announced on Monday.

FFA said the introduction of new teams, Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury, would mean 51 more games in the regular 10-team, 27-round season compared with the previous four A-League seasons.

In the new season's draw released on Monday there will be a finals series involving the top six teams from the regular season, with more chances for the two teams who finish in the top two, and with seven matches in total.

The A-League Grand Final will be decided on the evening of 20 March, 2010, the FFA said.

The opening match of the 2009-10 season will feature champions Melbourne Victory against AFC Champions League participants Central Coast Mariners in Melbourne on 6 August.

Season newcomers Gold Coast United will be away first-up to the Brisbane Roar, while North Queensland Fury, who have signed former England and Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler, will be at home in Townsville to Sydney FC, both on 8 August.