Westfield W-League Champions Sydney FC will head to Wagga Wagga in preparation for their title defence to take part in a historic first W-League friendly in the Riverina.
The Sky Blues will face the Newcastle Jets on Sunday 3rd November at 3pm at McDonald’s Park, ahead of an expected mid-November kick-off to the Westfield W-League 2019-20 season.
Head Coach Ante Juric will finalise his squad within the coming weeks but expects to take a strong line up to Wagga Wagga with preparations for the start of the season well underway.
“We will be in the final straight of pre-season so will be keen to give a good account of ourselves heading into round 1,” he said.
“It is good to have W-League opposition at that stage in our build-up as it will help us transition into the season proper while having the expected large crowd will ensure the girls put on a good showing.
“We know what a fervent area for football Wagga Wagga is and once we complete our squad, I think they will be excited by some of our players on show.”
It is the first game in a partnership recently rubber-stamped between the Sky Blues, Wagga Wagga City Council and Football Wagga Wagga, which will also see a Hyundai A-League men’s pre-season game played at the same venue in September 2020.
Sydney FC Chief Executive Officer Danny Townsend said: “I’m sure this will be a fantastic weekend for football in Wagga Wagga and I’m delighted we are coming to support the game in an area with a real passion for our sport.
“Our W-League team will be on the cusp of beginning the defence of our Championship and I’m sure will be keen to put on a real show for the fans.
“It will continue our excellent relationship with the Riverina and we hope to be able to encourage a new generation of football fans with our games here.”
Deputy Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Dallas Tout said women’s football has an increasingly strong following across the Riverina and the trial match is another top sporting opportunity for the city.
“There is plenty of momentum from the Matildas’ success and the recent World Cup to take into this pre-season match in Wagga Wagga,” Cr Tout said.
“Our city continues to attract the big names in Australian sport – when it comes to football, there is no bigger name than Sydney FC.”
Football Wagga Wagga President Tony Dobbin said November 3 looms as a historic day for the city as it prepares to host its first W-League pre-season match.
“The Sydney FC partnership with Wagga is set to deliver some huge benefits to the city and the region, and is also a huge injection for the continued development of our sport at all levels in this area particularly for women,” Mr Dobbin said.
Sydney FC’s Westfield W-League squad are set to travel to Wagga Wagga on the Friday ahead of the game and spend the weekend in the Riverina involved in local community initiatives.