Football South Coast chief executive Ann-Marie Balliana believes the world-class pitch at WIN Stadium will help further showcase the region's future A-League prospects when Sydney FC and Newcastle meet in a trial on Saturday.
Sydney played two A-League matches at the venue in 2006 and another in 2009, while Wollongong has also hosted recent Matildas and Young Socceroos internationals.
Balliana believes Australian football officials could become converts to South Coast's cause after the stars of Sydney FC and the Jets do battle.
"We had the Matildas here last year and we had the young Socceroos here as well," Balliana said.
"Both of those games were terrific and the feedback we got about having elite football at WIN Stadium was terrific. It's like carpet. Corey [Gameiro] was here when we launched the match and he commented then about how good the surface was.
"The opportunity to see some of our A-League stars and some marquee players, along with some of our own locals, showcases the potential of the stadium and showcases the region."
The Illawarra football production line will be on show, with Wollongong juniors Corey Gameiro, Matt Jurman and Pedj Boijic expected to line up for the Sky Blues. Bulli product Ruben Zadkovich will also captain the Jets in the match.
"It will be great for our kids to see how they can progress in Australia," Balliana said.
"A lot of them are Wolves juniors that got the opportunity to play in the A-League."
With Sydney and the Western Sydney Wanderers locked in a battle for the hearts and minds of Sydney football fans, both clubs have sought to tap into Illawarra's footballing talent.
"You look at the number of our Wolves players that are trialling with Western Sydney and Sydney FC," Balliana said.
"Talking to those A-League teams, the one thing they do mention is the great pathway that we have in the Illawarra and the programs we've put in place. They see it as having been a great nursery in the past and it's going to be a great nursery in the future."
The A-League clash comes as Football South Coast prepares its submission for an $8 million share of the $100 million Restart Illawarra Infrastructure Fund for its West Dapto "home of football" project. The previous Labor federal government promised $7.4 million for the project last month and Balliana said the recent change in government would not jeopardise that funding.
"The funds were already budgeted so I can't see any issues," she said.
"We've also been shortlisted for the Restart infrastructure funding so this month is all around that submission. There's a whole new level of detail that needs to go into it."
Apart from providing a permanent home for the South Coast Wolves and Stingrays, Balliana believes the site could serve as a training base for a future Illawarra A-League franchise similar to that of the Western Sydney Wanderers. The Wanderers play their A-League matches at Parramatta Stadium, the home of the Parramatta Eels NRL club, but have their training base at Blacktown
"When we went to see the Western Sydney Wanderers they they had an excellent facility at Blacktown, so it [West Dapto] could absolutely be used as a support facility for an A-League team."