She’s the Wollongong girl who’s never played at WIN Stadium but is set to achieve her dream in Sydney FC’s Westfield W-League clash against Perth Glory on Saturday.
Mackenzie Hawkesby, 19, is in her first season for the Sky Blues and has soaked up every minute she’s been on the pitch for the defending champions.
But Saturday’s Grand Final rematch against Glory is set to be the midfielder’s biggest match yet in front of her family and friends in Wollongong.
As well as getting the result to secure the Sky Blues a top-two finish, Hawkesby midfielder is hoping to inspire the next generation of footballers on the South Coast.
“I love it down here [in Wollongong]. We have a lot of Sky Blue fans and a lot of young talent down here that loves the game and loves Sydney FC,” she said on Sydney FC’s official website.
“It’s really important we come down here and the fans get to meet us and watch us play. It’s so important that we have games down here so they can follow us and follow in our footsteps.
“I actually haven’t played here [at WIN Stadium], I’ve always wanted to play here,” Hawkesby added.
“It’s such a beautiful field so hopefully I get the chance this weekend. The ground looks so good.
“It’s a dream come true [to pull on the Sky Blue jersey]. This is always what I’ve wanted to do, it’s the best feeling. Sydney FC has been my dream club and I’m so happy to be able to perform here.”
With Melbourne City securing the Premiers' Plate on Thursday night, Ante Juric's Sky Blues will be out to secure the final point they need to ensure second spot and a home Semi Final.
Sydney FC should be full of confidence after their emphatic 3-0 win over local rivals Western Sydney Wanderers, a result and performance they hope sets the standard for the rest of the camapign.
“If we’re confident and play the way we did against the Wanderers I think we can have an easy win,” Hawkesby said.
“It’s a really crucial game for us. Perth are a really good team, they’ve shown that they can get crucial wins too. We’re expecting big things for them, we can’t take them lightly and it’s really important we get the win.
“Our team is so good, with the Derby performance we put up we really showed what we are and what we can do, even without some important players,” she continued.
“We have a lot of depth and we’re really confident going into the game.”
Sydney FC v Perth Glory
Saturday, 22 February 2020
Kick-off: 4pm AEDT