Westfield Matildas boss Alen Stajcic is hoping the trend of strong local crowds continues when Australia host Thailand in a friendly in Perth next week.
The Matildas face the world number 30 as part of preparations for next month’s AFC Asian Cup in Jordan, with Australia tackling Korea Republic in their opening match on April 7.
The Aussies will spend a fortnight together in Perth ahead of the tournament, with the clash against Thailand their final competitive hit-out before heading to the Middle East.
And Stajcic is confident there will be a healthy contingent of supporters at nib Stadium on Monday night, particularly given Australia’s ongoing bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
“We’re looking for another big crowd. I think it’s a great audition for a city like Perth to show about whether they want to be a host city for the 2023 World Cup,” Stajcic told matildas.footballaustralia.com.au.
“Like last year, when we had over 50,000 people come see our matches, we hope we can add to that and show the Matildas are a product and a team in Australia everyone needs to be proud of.
“Hopefully everyone can come out and support.”
The Matildas’ swashbuckling performances in 2017 attracted some huge crowds on home soil, with Stajcic’s side take on Brazil in front of a sold-out crowd at Penrith’s Pepper Stadium in September.
More than 16,000 fans watched Australia beat the same opposition in Newcastle just three days later, while there was also strong support in Melbourne and Geelong for the Matildas’ friendly wins over China in November.
Stajcic admitted it was pleasing for the team to regularly play at home and allow fans from across the country to watch his side in action.
“We’re a team that represents all of Australia so for us to play in four different cities in the last couple of months has been fantastic,” Stajcic said.
“When you look back on the history of the Matildas, I don’t think we’ve ever had a spell like this where we’ve played at home as regularly and as in a wide variance of locations like we’ve had at the moment.
“It’s really giving the team exposure across the whole country and allowing everyone to come out and watch, be proud of our team and show the kind of love I know the players deserve from our fans and our country.”