NEWCASTLE Jets ironman Nikolai Topor-Stanley believes the impending move of the A-League to a winter competition is a "no-brainer".
But the 317-game veteran said nothing was locked in stone yet as the FFA, owners and players union work on a new collective bargaining agreement before the start of next season.
FFA and broadcaster Foxtel have flagged a December start for the 2020-21 competition, which will feature 12 teams including new club Macarthur FC.
"Playing in winter is chalk and cheese," Topor-Stanley said. "You actually feel like you have legs underneath you, especially in the second half. Humidity and heat definitely takes it out of you. You can see the quality of games. In the middle of summer, sometimes it dives off a cliff. Physically, playing in cooler weather is a no-brainer. You are going to see faster-paced games and more action."
However, Topor-Stanley, who is on the executive of the Professional Footballers Australia players union, said: "I'm not even sure if next season is locked in yet. There is a lot of technical work which needs to be done in the background."
The A-League landscape is set to change dramatically in the next three months.
Clubs are likely to have their annual grant slashed after the broadcast deal with Foxtel was renegotiated in June. Instead of receiving $57m for another three seasons, FFA will pocket $32m for one season. The reduced revenue is almost certain to flow on to the FFA grants clubs receive which are used to cover wages.
The players, who have taken a major financial hit to ensure this season is completed, are likely to oppose further hip-pocket pain.
"It will certainly be complicated," Topor-Stanley said of thr CBA talks. "We have already seen players make a compromise out of good will to the game to make sure the season finishes. It shouldn't just be on the players to continue to make sacrifices.
"A lot of work needs to be done in the background to make all the pieces fit in the puzzle. We have full trust in [PFA bosses] Beau Busch and Kate Gill and those running the game to come to a solution."
In the meantime, Topor-Stanley said the Jets were determined to finish the season with a win over Wellington next Thursday even if they are out of the play-off race.
The Jets are on 31 points, three behind sixth-placed Adelaide, who meet Sydney FC on Thursday and Melbourne City on Tuesday.
"There is always half an eye on what other teams are doing ... you can't get too carried away with that either."
The Jets, sitting last when Carl Robinson took the reins, have recorded six wins and three draws in 10 games.
"Carl has come in and tightened things up in the way he wants to and adjusted things tactically," Topor-Stanley said. "It has shown that we always had talent, we just needed a bit of tweaking here and there to produce."
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