A-League Women crowds have been increasing after World Cup fever hit Australia this year, but one Canberra United star believes more can be done to make the most of the sport's momentum.
A record attendance of 2229 turned out for Canberra's last home game at McKellar Park three weeks ago, and another bumper crowd is expected this Sunday for United's clash with Newcastle.
The appetite for women's sport has never been higher with more than 1000 regularly attending Capitals home WNBL games, the Canberra Chill attracted a Hockey One record attendance of 2281 at their last Lyneham fixture, and 2889 were at the Raiders' NRLW end-of-season home game in September.
But looking at how other A-League Women clubs have attracted even bigger crowds following the World Cup, does leave room for United to make their attendance figures even stronger.
United's next opponent the Newcastle Jets had 3207 at their home game last weekend, and Canberra's next closest A-League team Sydney FC had an astounding 11,471 fans in their record-setting season-opener.
"I think you always can do more," United's Chilean international Maria Rojas told The Canberra Times.
"We are on the right path to keep building. After the World Cup, hopefully Canberra United can take advantage of it.
"We broke the crowd record last time we were at McKellar Park and that was a great step for Canberra United. I hope this weekend we can achieve the same or even better."
Rojas said she's seen first-hand the impact and growth in the women's game off the back of the World Cup, with young boys she coaches naming Sam Kerr as their favourite player over Socceroos.
Rojas is doing her bit to boost crowd numbers too, with a passionate Chilean fan base following her.
"It's always great to see people from Chile," she said. "We have a big community in Canberra and Sydney, and they are very excited to support us and watch us play good football.
"Many have already messaged me that they're looking forward to the weekend, and I know a few people have got their membership recently as well."
Rojas first played for United in 2018, then had stints in the A-League with Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne City, but she returned to Canberra this season, enthused by coach Njegosh Popovich's attacking style and championship ambitions.
"Canberra holds a really special place in my heart," Rojas said. "We have a really young, talented team and I do believe in us to make the finals."
United are still searching for their first win of the season, and have been hurt by a rough schedule that included two postponed games. Even though the interruption has been "extremely hard" on the squad, Rojas is feeling confident United can deliver a much-needed victory against the Jets.
"You want to get those three points, not just for us, but also for our fans," she said.
Two Canberra players, defender Sasha Grove and goalkeeper Chloe Lincoln, were named in the Young Matildas squad on Tuesday. They will play China in a two-match international series on December 3 and 6, building toward the Under-20 Women's Asian Cup in Uzbekistan next year.
Sunday: Canberra United v Newcastle Jets, 4pm at McKellar Park
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