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|A-League coaches demand larger bench for upcoming season|
A-League bosses are applying strenuous pressure on Football Federation Australia to increase the amount of players on the substitute bench – currently teams can only have four players, including a goalkeeper – in a push to raise tactical efficiency, whilst also giving younger players the opportunity in the professional environment.
Since the A-League’s inception, club officials, along with fans have found the limitations on the bench as a peculiar rule given their counterparts around the world have upto seven substitutes on the bench at a given time.
Adelaide United head-coach Rini Coolen desires larger flexibility – wanting seven players at his disposal – although the sentiment is that five is the more realistic option.
''It's good to have seven players on the bench for the future,'' he said via The Age.
''You can make more substitutions. Young players get a chance in a game like this and it's what you can do in the future in the competition.''
Financial constraints are unfortunately a major building block. Currently the FFA pays for a traveling contingent of 20 – including 15 players, coaches and staff. The governing body has stated that it cannot afford to bankroll an additional player.
It is understood that the FFA acted proactively and discussed the thought of allowing clubs to bring an extra player, at their own expense. However, this was rejected due to the financial restraints between the clubs, believing is will cause further inequity.
With Melbourne Victory’s potent financial powers, coach Mehmet Durakovic also let his feelings known, suggesting that younger players would be the big winners.
''It would be fantastic to bring youngsters in and give them a taste of the environment, in front of big crowds, giving them a chance to understand what it means to be a professional footballer,'' he said.