A-League targets 50,000 club members in 2007-08

Australia's 8-team A-League is seeking a substantial club membership hike in its coming third season and an overall rise in crowds following double-digit growth in attendances at the Pre-Season Cup. "Membership will become a vitally important ingredient in growing the game in the next number of years," Football Federation Australia CEO Ben Buckley said at the season launch. "I can report that current participants have somewhere between 10 and 15 percent growth so far versus last year and, pleasingly, Melbourne continues to set the pace with something like 16,000 members ... We are targeting 50,000 members and we are hoping that in the opening rounds of the season, we can certainly get them."

Last season eventual champions Melbourne Victory topped the crowd graph in a growth season, with average gates of 30,000 at Telstra Dome. "That momentum has continued to build throughout the pre-season. We have had record crowds in the pre-season of a little over 20 percent. We have played in venues all around the country to introduce new supporters to the league. There were over 8000 in Geelong and in Launceston, while matches were played in Darwin and Christchurch," he told Michael Lynch of The Age.

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