ONE of the nicest parts about retiring as a player was the opportunity to go and watch football as a fan, to enjoy the emotions and the spectacle from the outside.
At the time I didn’t dream I’d one day get to watch an A-League side on my doorstep, representing the area where I grew up – and certainly not one playing for a place in the grand final in its first season.
There’s a special atmosphere around finals football. Now the supporters of Macarthur FC, who I’ve seen and been part of all season, have an unexpected chance to watch their team – or rather our team – in a semifinal that’s a short drive away in Kogarah, rather than being 1000km away in Melbourne.
The crowds at Campbelltown Stadium this season have been vocal and created a nice atmosphere, but you could turn the dial up significantly for a final. I'm very lucky that I’m coaching within grassroots football at the moment in the area, and my kids currently play junior level, so I know how excited the kids of the Macarthur region had been to come to games on weekends and watch their idols play.
Since it was announced that the game would switch from Melbourne, making it the next best thing to a home final, I know many people who are going to be making the trip. Campbelltown to Kogarah isn’t that far after all, and it’s such a fantastic opportunity for the Macarthur fans to see finals football.
I’d love to see a whole contingent go out and support our team. As we all know, when you've got the support, it means a lot to the players out there on the pitch, and that can translate into a better performance.
The team has been building towards this, and they've done it playing attractive football as well which is the most pleasing part. They deserve our backing.