How does the Hyundai A-League transfer window work?

Player movements in the Hyundai A-League are set to ramp up in the coming weeks, with released and retained lists being published and the opening of the transfer window on July 24 likely to bring more fresh faces from overseas.

See below for all the key details of the transfer window, including when new signings can officially be registered to represent their clubs.

SIGNING NEWS: All of the Hyundai A-League Ins & Outs
BLUE MOVE: Barbarouses swaps Melbourne Victory for Sydney FC 
CHANGE OF SCENE: Kurto moves from Wellington to Western United

(header images credits: Barbarouses - Sydney FC / Amos Hong; Georgievski - Western Sydney Wanderers)

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How does the transfer window work?

The Hyundai A-League operates around two transfer windows, known more formally as registration periods.

Within these times, clubs can officially lodge the paperwork necessary to ensure new signings are eligible to play.

The first registration period begins on July 24 and closes on October 15, 2019, while the second runs from January 3 to January 31, 2020. 

Recent signings such as Kosta Barbarouses (to Sydney FC), Daniel Georgievski (to Western Sydney Wanderers) and Filip Kurto (to Western United FC) will not be officially registered with their new club until the registration period opens on July 24. 

Both transfer windows bring flurries of activity, as clubs take stock and consider how best to approach the new campaign – or make changes for the crucial run-in at the end of the season.

Players can be signed and registered at any point until 11:59pm on the final day of these windows.

New signings from overseas require an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) to be passed between the relevant national associations.

While an ITC must be requested before a window closes, it can be received beyond the final day. 

Ola Toivonen
Sweden international Ola Toivonen required an ITC when he joined Melbourne Victory from Toulouse in France in August 2018

Can clubs register a player outside the Registration Period?

Yes, certain opportunities exist for clubs to add new players to their rosters outside the designated windows.

The most straightforward option is if the player is a free agent – and last registered as a professional footballer – prior to the conclusion of the registration period.

Alternatively, a player can be registered if FFA is satisfied that 'exceptional circumstances' exist, for example if an individual has terminated their contract at another club with just cause.

If a player is signing from overseas under 'exceptional circumstances', FFA requires approval from the sport's international governing body FIFA.

How do loans work? 

As well as permanent transfers, clubs can loan players to or from other clubs. 

Domestic loans

For players moving domestically within the Hyundai A-League, the following rules apply: 

  • The player must be Australian (New Zealander if Wellington Phoenix), and eligible for national team duty 
  • The player must be born after January 1, 1996 (so be no older than 23 at the start of the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League season) 
  • The term of the loan must be for a period of at least one registration period to another, or until the end of the season 
  • Clubs may not loan out more than two domestic players, and may not receive more than two domestic loan players 
  • The loaned player is ineligible to play against his parent club
De Silva
Daniel De Silva: loaned from Central Coast Mariners to Sydney FC last season, he was ineligible to play against the Gosford club

International loans

There is no limit to incoming or outgoing loans internationally, providing the Hyundai A-League club complies with foreign player limits. 

For international loans, dates vary due to differing seasons around the world, but players must be registered during the first or second registration period to meet the requirements of the International Transfer Certificate. 

Shayon Harrison
International loan: Shayon Harrison was one of a number of players from overseas to join Melbourne City on loan in 2018/19

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