The Wellington Phoenix will get the chance to complete their best-ever A-League season.

Football Federation Australia has taken the first steps towards restarting the 2019/20 competition with clubs told to prepare for a resumption in one central location, probably Sydney.

Following a period of 'pre-season' training in July, games are slated to begin again in August with the regular season completed before a top-six finals series is played.

The A-League was called to a halt on March 24th with six regular season rounds remaining. At that time, Wellington were third on the table, but just four points behind second-placed Melbourne City with three games in hand.


With some players and coaching staff currently in Australia and imports Gary Hooper and Ulises Davila offshore, the squad will come together in New South Wales, rather than Wellington.

"A bit like the Warriors, we'd head over for two weeks of quarantine," said General Manager David Dome.

"We'd train for a couple of weeks, then go out of isolation, then train for two more weeks with maybe a couple of games and then hit the ground with the resumption of the A-League."

Tim Payne of Wellington Phoenix during the round 222 A-League match between the Central Coast Mariners and the Wellington Phoenix. Photo / Getty Images.
Tim Payne of Wellington Phoenix during the round 222 A-League match between the Central Coast Mariners and the Wellington Phoenix. Photo / Getty Images.

The NRL has been the trail-blazer in Australasian sport and remain committed to a restart on May 28. The AFL, ANBL and Super Rugby are yet to formally publicise their plans.

"We have to make sure the right protocols are in place," said Dome.

"We've said from day one it has to be about the safety of the players. No-one wants to put them at risk. We want to make sure we have the best possible options, processes, procedures and structures in place.

"We have to find venues for all the teams coming in from the other states and we have to find grounds to play in. There's quite a bit of work to get through and we want to make sure we get that stuff right."

Muddying the waters slightly is the fact dozens of A-League players come off contract on May 31, including eight from the Phoenix.


Among that group are Hooper, German midfielder Matti Steinmann and defensive mainstay Luke Devere, along with All Whites Callum McCowatt, Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi and Callan Elliot.

"These are some of the details that now have to be worked through," said Dome.

"At the moment we've got an indication from the broadcaster that they're keen to have the A-League resume. Now we have to work out what that means for the players who are off-contract and our existing players who aren't in New Zealand.

"Potentially it won't be the same (squads) resuming the A-League but the good thing is it's football, so hopefully we're back to football soon."

Discussions will continue between the FFA, broadcasters and clubs this week with further clarity expected in the coming days. Meantime, there are no guarantees the next A-League season will run in its regular October to May window.

"That's the next step. Nobody knows. That's still yet to be discussed," Dome said.

"There are lots of discussions around how to best maximise the A-League in season 2020/21. All the indications are that stadia are going to be closed (to fans) until January. That's not ideal, so do we push out the start to try to minimise the number of games behind closed doors or do we just start again in October?

"The next stage is to begin and finish the work on the resumption of this season and the finals series. We'll then look at what it's going to look like for season 20/21.

"But it's positive that we're talking about it."