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Wellington Phoenix and Mark Rudan set for awkward reunion in A-League opener

Former Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan will return to Westpac Stadium to face his old side in Western United's first competitive A-League match 

The Wellington Phoenix have the pleasure of facing against their old coach and other familiar faces at the Cake Tin on October 13.

This encounter will be Western’s first competitive match in the league.

Long-serving captain Andrew Durante, midfielder Max Burgess and goalkeeper Filip Kurto, who all once called the capital their home, were lured by Rudan to the new Sydney franchise and are now part of a strong Western United squad.

The Melbourne derby also highlights round one of this season's A-League.

Today, FFA finally released the draw for the 2019-20 competition which will include an 11th team - Western United.

Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City will be led by new coaches Marco Kurz and Erick Mombaerts respectively in the season's first derby on Saturday, October 12.

A day earlier, Adelaide United hosts Sydney FC in the first game of the season at Coopers Stadium.

The grand final will be played on May 16 or 17.

FFA are billing the new Victorian outfit and Western Sydney's new home ground Bankwest Stadium as the chief reasons for excitement.

Western United's inclusion - part of a push towards 14, and then 16 teams - adds a bye.

Every side will play each other home and away, with six further fixtures to make a 26-match season before the finals.

This methodology means the biggest fixtures - including the derbies and Big Blues - will be played three times a season, without blowing out the campaign.

Wellington Pheonix's coach Mark Rudan seen during the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 game between Wellington Pheonix vs Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, Sunday 17th March 2019. Copyright Photo: Raghavan Venugopal / © www.Photosport.nz 2019
Wellington Pheonix's coach Mark Rudan. Source: Photosport


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