Sydney FC midfielder Nick Carle backed his coach Ian Crook’s call for a longer season, saying more rounds would create more opportunities for young players.
Carle joined his team-mates for their first pre-season training session under the helm of Crook, who replaced Vitezslav Lavicka as the Sky Blues’ head coach in May, and immediately expressed concern at the length of time the players have to wait between seasons.
"I think everyone finds the long off-season a bit annoying, but that's the way it is," Carle said.
"I'd love to see more rounds come into it. I'd be massive supporter of it.
"It would keep you fitter for a longer period of time.
"It would be better for a variety of reasons. It means you may get a few more injuries and younger players may get more chances.
With many European clubs playing upwards of 40 matches throughout their seasons, in addition to other commitments, Carle, who has made 12 appearances for Australia since 2004, said a longer season would also enhance A-League players’ chances of representing the Socceroos.
"For people who want to make national teams, with such a long break it really affects your chances," Carle said.
Meanwhile Crook cited the performance of the Young Socceroos, who were beaten 5-0 at the AFC U-22 Championship by Japan on Sunday, as proof that a short season followed by a lengthy off-field break, can have a detrimental effect at the senior level.
"We can't continue to try to develop players when they're only playing for six months of the year, it just doesn't work," he said.
"Every other country in the world has longer seasons.
"Just last night Japan beat our under-20 team 5-0. The game has evolved so much in Japan, they train all the year through."The 27-round 2012/2013 A-League season begins with the Melbourne derby on Friday 5 October, with Sydney FC facing a tough road assignment against Phoenix in Wellington on Saturday 6 October.
The Central Coast Mariners have already shown they can match Guangzhou Evergrande in terms of performance, but will need to do it again on Wednesday to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League.