Stajcic: 'emotional' fan support can spur Westfield Matildas
Alen Stajcic has urged Victorians to soak up the excitement surrounding the Westfield Matildas and help make the difference in this week's two-match China PR series.
The national team signs off from an exceptional 2017 with a pair of friendlies at AAMI Park on Wednesday night and Simonds Stadium in Geelong on Sunday.
The much-anticipated matches come on the back of September's successful double header against Brazil, which drew record-breaking crowds in New South Wales.
"I've spoken to 100s of people who were at both matches and took their whole families along, their young daughters and sons," Stajcic told matildas.footballaustralia.com.au.
"I've only received messages of praise about how the team performed, what a brilliant event it was, how inspiring it was for their kids to be at an event like that and how much they enjoyed watching women's football.
"For the majority, for the first time. What a great occasion it was to be your first women's football event.
"I know if we play a game back in Penrith or Newcastle we will get 100 per cent retention rate. Everyone who was there would come back again.
"We obviously encourage everyone in Melbourne to come out and watch this team play, support the team and have a great night and really give us that extra motivation we need to get across the line."
Stajcic says the recent turnouts have inspired the world's sixth-ranked team to unprecedented heights and hopes for more boisterous support to end the year on a high note.
"It's just an emotional and morale-boosting element for the game," Stajcic said.
"When you walk out in front of your home crowd and see 15,000 or 16,000 people singing your anthem, waving your flag and wearing your colours, you can't describe the kind of feeling that is on the inside and the extra boost it gives to your motivation.
"It's the reason 70 per cent of matches in world football are won by the home team.
"It's the feeling of safety and wanting to perform in front of your friends, family and home crowd.
"We've always had good support at home but the new levels we reached in the Brazil series shows the players how much affection they have from our home crowd.
"They really want to do that extra little bit to ensure they play at their maximum."