Season 2019-20 has been described as a "transition" campaign with the clubs sharing management of the A-League with Football Federation Australia for one more year.
While there has been criticism about the lack of pre-season marketing, that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to be excited about as the big kick-off looms on Friday night when Adelaide hosts champions Sydney FC.
It is an unprecedented situation in Melbourne with a new A-League club in Western United and three new coaches. Marco Kurz has replaced Kevin Muscat at Victory, Erick Mombaerts is in at City for Warren Joyce, while Mark Rudan has been lured from Phoenix to lead Western United.
Wanderers will look to rekindle the faith of their fans with a move to their new stadium in Parramatta.
The Jets, despite losing Wes Hoolahan to a long-term injury, will be out to return to the finals, while much interest will focus on new boys Western United.
Last season: 4th
Key gains: Riley McGree (Melbourne City), Michael Maria (Charlotte Independence) , Kristian Opseth (Erzurum BB), Al Hassan Toure, Kusini Yengi (promoted).
Notable losses: Isaias, Scott Galloway, Baba Diawara.
Season outlook: A new coach (Gertjan Verbeek) and a returning star player in McGree. How the Reds adjust after the departure of midfield metronome Isaias will be key. Maria, who has played in both Germany and the Netherlands, might be the man to help fill the void while Norwegian striker Opseth will be charged with sparking the attack.
Star player: Riley McGree. The 20-year-old has crammed a lot into a short time, having leapt to international prominence with that scorpion kick goal that propelled the Jets to a grand final in 2018.
Michael Lynchtip: 7th, James Gardiner tip: 8th
Last season: 9th
Key gains: Roy O'Donovan (Jets), Aaron Amadi-Holloway (Shrewsbury Town), Scott Neville (Glory), Tom Aldred, Macaulay Gillesphey, Jay O'Shea, Brad Inman (unattached).
Notable losses: Thomas Kristensen, Henrique, Matt McKay, Eric Bautheac, Luke DeVere, Alex Lopez, Joe Caletti.
Season outlook: Despite a short stint coaching in Thailand, Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler is an unknown quantity as the Roar's new boss. Fowler has transformed the entire Roar squad, with most additions coming from the English lower leagues. Pilfering from the UK to fill most international spots is a new one for the A-League. Fowler's Australian signings have been clever - Scott Neville, Brad Inman and Rahmat Akbari (returning from loan) can all have an influence.
Star player: Roy O'Donovan. The Irishman has never had any difficulty scoring in the A-League and is a fierce competitor.
ML tip: 6thJG tip: 8th
Last season: 10th
Key gains: Danny De Silva (Sydney), Mark Birighitti ( City), Ziggy Gordon, Kim Eun-sun, Milan Duric (unattached).
Notable losses: Matthew Millar, Connor Pain, Tom Hiariej, Andrew Hoole.
Season outlook: The Mariners have won the wooden spoon in three of the past four seasons. Alen Stajcic gets a full term in charge but it again looks a tough assignment. His first task is fixing a leaky defence. Defensive frailties and stuff-ups have been a feature for too long. Kim Eun-sun had a successful career in Korea and was captain of Suwon Bluewings last year, but was dumped after being caught drink driving.
Star player: Danny De Silva. The 22-year-old has been around the A-League since 2013, with a stint at Roda JC in the Netherlands, too. Still young, but a sparkling talent.
ML tip: 10thJG tip: 11th
Last season: 5th
Key gains: Craig Noone (Bolton Wanderers), Josh Brillante (Sydney FC) , Adrian Luna (Veracuz) Javier Cabrera (Montevideo Wanderers), Scott Galloway (Adelaide).
Notable losses: Luke Brattan, Bart Schenkenveld, Ritchie De Laet, Eugene Galekovic, Dario Vidosic.
Season outlook: A revolving door at City as several well-known players have departed along with the coach, Warren Joyce. Some lesser names come in along with a highly-credentialed French coach, Erick Mombaerts. Craig Noone, who has had Premier League experience with Cardiff City, looks an excellent acquisition while Florin Berenguer has plenty to prove. Josh Brillante will want to push to regain a spot in the Socceroo' set-up.
Star player: Craig Noone. Has been excellent in the FFA Cup, scoring goals and creating chances for his teammates. Skilful with quick feet, Noone can play wide or central.
ML tip: 4thJG tip: 6th
Last season: 3rd
Key gains: Robbie Kruse (Bochum), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa), Tim Hoogland (Bochum), Jakob Poulsen (Midtjylland), Migjen Basha (Aris Thessaloniki), Kristijan Dobras (Rheindorf Altach), Adama Traore (Goztepe).
Notable losses: James Troisi, Kosta Barbarouses, Keisuke Honda, Carl Valeri, Terry Antonis.
Season outlook: Victory's 2018-19 campaign ended in embarrassing fashion with that 6-1 semi-final thumping by Sydney FC. Soon after, coach Kevin Muscat quit, ending 14 years as a player and coach at the A-League powerhouse. There has been a complete overhaul in the off-season as Marco Kurz, the German who was Adelaide's coach, has taken over and brought in a host of foreign players. They have retained the services Ola Toivonen, who is now club captain. Traore returns for a second stint, as do Nabbout and Kruse.
Star player: Ola Toivonen. A tall, skilful Swede with a nose for goal, Toivonen arrived with a World Cup pedigree and, after an injury-interrupted start, showed his class throughout the season.
ML tip: 1stJG tip: 1st
Last season: 7th
Key gains: Matthew Millar (Mariners), Wes Hoolahan (West Bromwich Albion), Nick Fitzgerald (Wanderers), Abdiel Arroyo (Arabe Unido), Bobby Burns (Heart of Midlothian).
Notable losses: Roy O'Donovan, Ronald Vargas, Jair, Daniel Georgievski, Ivan Vujica, Joe Champness.
Season outlook: The Jets have returned to the fast-paced transition game that propelled them into the grand final 18 months ago. Matt Millar provided the second most assists in the league when at the Mariners and along with Northern Ireland under-21 international Bobby Burns will give them thrust from the back. Arroyo is the unknown. He is big and strong and glides over the ground and will need to score goals if the Jets are to return to the play-offs. A long-term injury to Hoolahan is a blow. The "Irish Messi" is due back in January and could provide an X-factor in the lead-up to the finals. The ever reliable Nigel Boogaard and Nikolai Topor-Stanley will marshal the defence.
Star player: Dimi Petratos. With Hoolahan injured, Petratos will again be the main man. He revelled in the same role in their ride to the 2018 decider. He has pace around him this season and can expect double digit goals and assists.
ML tip: 8thJG tip: 5th
Last season: 1st (lost grand final)
Key gains: Bruno Fornaroli (City), Kim Soo-beom (Jeju United), Osama Malik (Al-Batin), Gregory Wutrich (Young Boys), James Meredith (Millwall).
Notable losses: Brendon Santalab, Jacob Italiano, Jason Davidson, Andy Keogh, Shane Lowry.
Season outlook: Clearly the best side all season, Tony Popovic's Glory froze in the grand final at home and lost to Sydney FC. Jason Davidson is a significant loss in terms of how the team plays but Kim Soo-beom is a like-for-like replacement. Shane Lowry is also a big loss given his defensive performances last season. Swiss central defender Gregory Wuthrich is his replacement, and at age 24 is a rare youthful international acquisition. The Glory dominated and suffocated teams last year and looked the pace-setters from early on in the campaign.
Star player: Bruno Fornaroli. The Uruguayan striker sits comfortably in the top handful of players in A-League history. Played essentially zero soccer last season so should be refreshed.
ML tip: 3rdJG tip: 2nd
Last season: 2nd (won grand final)
Key gains: Alexander Baumjohan (Wanderers), Luke Brattan (City), Kosta Barbarouses (Victory), Ryan McGowan (Bradford City).
Notable losses: Aaron Calver, Josh Brillante, Siem De Jong, Danny Da Silva, Reeza Ghoochannejhad, Alex Brosque.
Season outlook: The defending champions will go into the campaign with a target on their back, but Sydney's shoulders are broad enough to bear that load. They won against the odds against Glory last season, and while they have lost some good players they have strengthened accordingly. How they handle the loss of long-term skipper Alex Brosque and the mobility of Brillante in midfield will be telling.
Star player: Milos Ninkovic. A Johnny Warren and a Joe Marston Medal winner, Ninkovic needs little introduction. The Serbian attacking midfielder's close technical ability, capacity to find a pass and his nose for goal have made him one of the best players in the competition.
ML tip: 2ndJG tip: 3rd
Last season: 6th (lost elimination final)
Key gains: Reno Piscopo (Renate), David Ball (Rotheram United), Matti Steinmann, Ulises Davila (unattached), Luke DeVere (Roar).
Notable losses: Filip Kurto, Max Burgess, Michal Kopczynski, Roy Krishna, David Williams, Andrew Durante, Sarpreet Singh.
Season outlook: The Phoenix have been smashed by departures in the off-season, the biggest of which was coach Mark Rudan who has taken keeper Filip Kurto, captain Andrew Durante and midfielder Max Burgess to Western United. Sarpreet Singh incredibly has gone to Bayern Munich while key man Roy Krishna has gone to India, which is a bit of a kick in the teeth for the club and the A-League. Ufuk Talay was a gun player and has done a long coaching apprenticeship. Like Roar, it is incredibly hard to get a read on how the side might fare given all the departures. Steven Taylor remains and takes over the captaincy from Durante. A host of good Kiwi talent remains too in the form of Liberato Cacace, Alex Rufer and Louis Fenton.
Star player: Ulises Davila. With the departure of Krishna, Singh and Williams, the Mexican attacking midfielder's success or otherwise is super important. He was on Chelsea's books from 2011 to 2015.
ML tip: 11thJG tip: 10th
Last season: 8th
Key gains: Pirmin Schwegler (Hannover), Alexander Meier (St Pauli), Daniel Georgievski (Newcastle Jets), Daniel Lopar (St Gallen), Matthew Jurman (Al Ittihad).
Notable losses: Oriel Rieira, Josh Risdon, Roly Bonevacia, Brendan Hamil, Alexander Baumjohan.
Season outlook: Last season was a disappointing year under new coach Markus Babbel. The team rarely looked as though they were in with a shout and the coach often found reason to find fault with his players' attitude or execution. With a new-look squad, things should be better this season and the move to their own new stadium at Parramatta should give them a huge boost.
Star player: Alexander Meier. The 36-year-old German arrives in Australia with a wealth of experience having been in the Bundesliga with various clubs since he was a teenager. His goal tally of 151 in 446 appearances suggests he should regularly find the target in the A-League.
ML Tip: 5thJG Tip: 4th
First season in the league.
Key gains: Alessandro Diamanti (Livorno), Panagiotis Kone (Udinese), Scott McDonald (Partick Thistle), Filip Kurto (Phoenix), Josh Risdon (Wanders), Besart Berisha (Sanfrecce Hiroshima).
Season outlook: It's all about building a brand, a reputation, finding some fans and consolidating itself as a viable entity. Oh, and winning a few games. On paper, Western look to have a competitive first team with a mixture of old, experienced heads, some players with a point to prove and some youngsters looking to make their mark. They will be wandering all over the western districts of Victoria, so will need to work hard to attract and keep supporters. Nothing will help more than good results.
Star player: Alessandro Diamanti. The Italian has an impressive CV at both club and international level and other top-class veterans have shown they still can perform at a high level here.
ML tip: 9thJG tip: 9th