Matildas want a sea of gold
AFTER experiencing more than 30,000 supporters all passionately cheering on the opposition last weekend, Matildas captain Cheryl Salisbury wants to to turn the tables on their North Korean opponents and give them a taste of their own medicine this Sunday at the BCU International Stadium.
Salisbury has issued a 'call to arms' to Coffs sports fans to come out in force at the weekend, not only to support the Matildas but also to greet the Korean team with a 'Sea of Gold' for the crucial Olympic qualifier.
After suffering a 2-0 loss in Pyongyang on Sunday against the Koreans, who are ranked fifth in the world and are considered Asia's top team, the Australian team must win this weekend if they are going to be any chance of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics and Salisbury says that if a large, bipartisan Aussie crowd gets to Coffs Harbour, it can help to get them over the line.
"It is always a massive boost to the team when we can hear Australian supporters urging us on and we need all the help we can get on Sunday to help us over the line," Salisbury added.
"I would urge local sports fans to the come to the game and support the Aussie team.
"We want to hear the home fans being loud and vocal and if you have anything gold at home bring it along.
"We saw the difference that loud and colourful Aussie support made to the Socceroos when they beat Uruguay in that epic World Cup qualifier."
Salisbury, who is Australia's most capped male or female player and a veteran of 130 appearances for the Matildas, said last Sunday's match was a unique experience with over 30,000 fans at the match.
"There were over 30,000 supporters or even up to 40,000 crammed into the stadium spilling over into the aisles so the environment was a challenge that many of the players hadn't experienced before," she said.
"It was quite an isolating experience and quite tough mentally.
"That was probably one of the toughest matches of my career with the Koreans coming at us 100 miles an hour and they were quite relentless for much of the match.
"They put a lot of pressure on us especially in the first half when we had little time on the ball."
The Matildas truly believe that a big crowd singing the national anthem and screaming their hearts out for Australia will be a tremendous boost to the team.
The record crowd for a sporting event at the BCU International Stadium is 12,000 and Salisbury is hoping that figure can be bettered.
"We're looking forward to reversing the result on Sunday when the environment in the Stadium will be quite different, playing in front of family, friends and our own supporters."
The Australian team will arrive in Coffs Harbour today after a gruelling 24-hour trip back from North Korea, having been forced to wait two days for the first flight out of Pyongyang after Sunday's match.
Tickets for Sunday's Matildas Olympic qualifier against DPR Korea at the BCU International Stadium are available online via www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au; from the Coffs Harbour City Council's central ticketing system located at the Jetty Memorial Theatre; by phoning 6652 8088 between 10am and 4pm or at the gate on match day.