Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has welcomed an immediate crack at grand final conquerors Brisbane Roar with the confirmation today that the two sides will meet in round one of the 2012-13 Hyundai A-League season at Patersons Stadium.
Glory lost to a controversial injury-time penalty at Suncorp Stadium in April and Ferguson is keen to go up against the champions straight away.
"I'm really looking forward to it," he said.
"Every game is a tough game but to get the champions - and the manner we lost the grand final - I'm sure there'll be a little bit of spice there."
Ferguson said he was happy with the overall balance of the draw. Glory have just one trip to New Zealand - they play Wellington in Auckland in week 19 - while newcomers Western Sydney travel to Perth in week seven.
"I'm reasonably pleased with the way the draws went," the Scot said.
"Last year we had a lot of games away from home and at certain times we had some road trips as well which was really bad from when we started up until Christmas.
"There are two games at most that we are away from home, and then two at home, so it sort of evens itself up.
"Another good thing I think it's the first time we actually get 14 home games which is great."
Other week one fixtures see Western Sydney start with a NSW derby against Central Coast, while Melbourne Victory host neighbours Heart in the opening game.
And Roar will host the much-anticipated round-two showdown with the Melbourne Victory, facing off for the first time against the man who coached them to two straight championships - Ange Postecoglou.
Six teams will compete in the end-of-season finals, which will now become a straight knock-out cup style format, with the first and second-placed teams having a rest in week one of the finals series before entering the second week semi-finals.
Week one will see third play sixth and fourth play fifth at the higher ranked team’s home venue in the elimination finals, with the winners going through to play away against teams one and two.
Team one will then host the lowest ranked winner from week one of the finals series, while team two will face the highest ranked winner from the elimination finals.
The highest ranked winner of the week two semi-finals will then host the A-League grand final.
GLORY FIXTURES FOR 2012/13 SEASONWEEK 1
Oct 7: Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar (Patersons Stadium)WEEK 2
Oct 14: Central Coast v Perth GloryWEEK 3
Oct 21: Perth Glory v Melbourne Heart (nib Stadium)WEEK 4
Oct 28: Sydney FC v Perth GloryWEEK 5
Nov 3: Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets (nib Stadium)WEEK 6
Nov 11: Adelaide Utd v Perth GloryWEEK 7
Nov 18: Perth Glory v Western Sydney (nib Stadium)WEEK 8
Nov 24: Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix (nib Stadium)WEEK 9
Nov 30: Melbourne Victory v Perth GloryWEEK 10
Dec 8: Melbourne Heart v Perth GloryWEEK 11
Dec 14: Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets (nib Stadium)WEEK 12
Dec 21: Brisbane Roar v Perth GloryWEEK 13
Dec 27: Perth Glory v Western Sydney (nib Stadium)WEEK 14
Dec 31: Central Coast v Perth GloryWEEK 15
Jan 5: Perth Glory v Sydney FC (nib Stadium)WEEK 16
Jan 11: Adelaide Utd v Perth GloryWEEK 17
Jan 19: Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory (nib Stadium)WEEK 18
Jan 26: Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar (nib Stadium)WEEK 19
Feb 2: Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory (Auckland)WEEK 20
Feb 9: Melbourne Heart v Perth GloryWEEK 21
Feb 16: Perth Glory v Central Coast (nib Stadium)WEEK 22
Feb 23: Western Sydney v Perth GloryWEEK 23
Mar 2: Perth Glory v Sydney FC (TBA - in WA)WEEK 24
Mar 8: Newcastle Jets v Perth GloryWEEK 25
Mar 17: Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix (nib Stadium)WEEK 26
Mar 23: Melbourne Victory v Perth GloryWEEK 27
Mar 30: Perth Glory v Adelaide Utd (nib Stadium)
FINALSWeek 1 (April 5-7)
Elimination final 2 - 4th v 5thWeek 2 (April 14-17)
Semi-final 2 - 2nd v highest ranked week 1 winnerWeek 3 (April 20 or 21)
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