Coronavirus: 'A little bit dangerous' – Melb City's Susaeta wary of proposed A-League schedule

By Sacha Pisani 29 May 2020 2
Coronavirus: 'A little bit dangerous' – Melb City's Susaeta wary of proposed A-League schedule

Melbourne City star Markel Susaeta believes the reported proposal of 32 matches in 36 days to complete the 2019-20 A-League season is "a little bit dangerous" following the coronavirus outbreak.

The A-League has been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Australia's premier club competition is planning to return in July.

On Thursday, Football Federation Australia (FFA) unveiled its schedule, with the campaign to resume in mid-July and wrap up within a month – provided broadcasters sign off on the plans.

The A-League had 27 regular-season fixtures remaining at the time of postponement and City winger Susaeta is wary of injuries during a jam-packed blitz.

"I think it's a little bit dangerous for the football players," Susaeta told Stats Perform News.

"In the Bundesliga, in the first matches many injured players. It's normal because if you prepare in three weeks, in one month you have more possibilities of injuries if you prepare like normal.

"But there are many team-mates ready to play if one football player has pain."

Western United captain and former Italy international Alessandro Diamanti recently told Stats Perform News players would need a month of training to be ready for the resumption of the A-League.

Athletic Bilbao great Susaeta said: "Normally in Spain, it is one-month-and-a-half maybe but I think if you prepare good in one month you can play again.

"I hope me and my team-mates in one month, we will be perfect for the final matches."

City were performing well prior to the suspension, sitting second in the table and eight points behind leaders Sydney FC, though they had played three more matches.

Susaeta – who made over 500 appearances for Athletic, where he won the 2015 Supercopa de Espana against Barcelona and was part of the club's run to the 2012 Europa League final – swapped Gamba Osaka for City in January.


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The 32-year-old Spaniard had scored two goals and set up another for Erick Mombaert's City before the season came to a halt.

"I felt very sad because in that moment we were playing very good football, winning difficult matches," Susaeta added.

"We felt we could win against anyone but it is the situation – the situation is crazy for the world especially and football also.

"We have to wait and I hope in two-three weeks we can start training again and in July we can start the A-League."

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Sacha Pisani