The sight of a record crowd clad in green and gold at Bankwest Stadium is one of the main highlights for the Westfield Matildas in 2019.
Saturday, November 9 was a historic day for the women’s game as more than 20,000 fans were on hand to watch Ante Milicic’s side beat Chile 2-1 thanks to a Sam Kerr double.
It was a day that will live long in the memory not only of the Westfield Matildas players but also the supporters that were there to witness Australia’s first-ever clash at the revamped venue.
Among the 20,029 fans in the stadium that day were members of Western Sydney Wanderers’ Westfield W-League squad, including American keeper Abby Smith.
Having only arrived in Sydney two days earlier, it was a pleasant sight for the 26-year-old to not only see the huge support for the women’s game in Australia but also a close-up look at the Wanderers’ home ground.
And Smith will now get a chance to run out onto Bankwest Stadium as a player, with the Wanderers to play their first-ever Westfield W-League match there on Friday against the Newcastle Jets.
“We went to the Matildas game when they played there and it’s beautiful, oh my gosh,” Smith told Matildas.com.au.
“When we were watching the game I was like ‘holy moly this is so nice.’
“I think it will be nice to open up at Bankwest with the double-header [with the Wanderers’ Hyundai A-League side].”
Smith made a superb start to her Wanderers career last week, making a string of excellent saves as Dean Heffernan’s side overcame Adelaide United 2-1.
They have a chance to make it two wins from two when they welcome the Jets to Bankwest Stadium on Friday, with kick-off at 5pm.
“I don’t know too much about (Newcastle). We’ve been focussing on ourselves and making ourselves better,” Smith said.
“We’ve been hammering down what we want to focus on going into this game.”