The biggest stories of the Hyundai A-League off-season


With such a long break between seasons, there has been plenty of action off the field around the Hyundai A-League in recent months.

Big-name signings, coaching movement and transfer speculation are themes which have dominated the headlines in the off-season. 

But with just three weeks until the start of the new campaign, we take a look back at the top five stories which caught the eye throughout pre-season. 

Tim Cahill signs with Melbourne City

In one of the biggest signings in Hyundai A-League history, City pulled off a huge coup by convincing Australia’s all-time highest goal scorer Cahill to join the club.

After a long career in the EPL, MLS and China, Cahill signed with City on a two-year playing deal, with a coaching role with the City Football Group in 2018.

Melbourne City strikers Bruno Fornaroli and Tim Cahill.

While he has already turned out for the club in the Westfield FFA Cup, Cahill’s first Hyundai A-League appearances is likely to be in the Melbourne Derby in round 2.

Jets part ways with Miller

Rookie boss Scott Miller had helped the Newcastle Jets make strong improvements in 2015/16 and there was plenty of optimism in the Hunter with new owners on board and some encouraging pre-season performances.

But not long after the club returned from an unbeaten tour of China, the Jets owners decided to sack Miller due to “differences related to football matters within the club”. 

Scott Miller has parted ways with Newcastle Jets.

Assistant manager Luciano Trani was also shown the door days later with the Jets still on the hunt for a new boss three weeks out from the new season.

Manchester City signs Aaron Mooy

The Caltex Socceroos midfielder was arguably the best player in the Hyundai A-League last season, scoring 11 goals and providing an incredible 20 assists in a record-breaking campaign for Melbourne City.

It had a host of clubs from Europe chasing his signature but it came as a shock when English giants Manchester City signed the 25-year-old on a three-year deal.

Aaron Mooy

Mooy has since been loaned out to Championship club Huddersfield Town, where he has been in sensational form for the Terriers, who are currently on top of the league.

Paul Okon in at the Mariners

After finishing with the wooden spoon last season and their embarrassing loss in the FFA Cup, the Mariners decided to let coach Tony Walmsley go.

While names like Ricki Herbert, Tony Vidmar, Arthur Papas and Damian Mori were all linked with the job, former Socceroo skipper Okon was handed the reins.

New Mariners coach Paul Okon speaks at Monday's appointment announcement.

Okon, who was given a ringing endorsement from Caltex Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou, had previous coaching experience came with Australia’s youth teams as well as a short stint as an assistant at Gold Coast United.

A-League clubs humbled in FFA Cup

Cup football has shown it can throw up a few surprises and we saw that in the space of an incredible 24 hours in the Westfield FFA Cup.

First Hyundai A-League club Central Coast Mariners were sunk by Liam Boland’s stunning long-range strike as PS4 NPL Victorian club Green Gully prevailed 2-1.

But that was nothing on what Queensland’s Redlands United did the following night, shocking A-League champions Adelaide United 2-1 after extra-time.

Embarrassing losses for the Hyundai A-League duo, but that’s the Magic of the Cup.