Sydney FC's return to the Illawarra tomorrow provides a chance for the club to recapture the hearts and minds of football fans from fairytale rivals the Western Sydney Wanderers.
The Sky Blues are on the offensive this year in the public relations war to win back support south of the harbour city.
But the potential on-field absence of superstar Alessandro Del Piero in tomorrow's pre-season friendly with the Newcastle Jets could hurt their cause in the Illawarra and further endear fans to the Western Sydney fairytale.
The Wanderers were clear victors in season one of the cross-Sydney battle with the Sky Blues and the Illawarra region played a crucial role for both clubs.
Former South Coast Wolves and now Wanderers youth coach Trevor Morgan believes it is open slather for Sydney FC and Western Sydney with the Illawarra public's lack of their own A-League team.
"The Wanderers are definitely looking to spread their tentacles to get out into regional areas, and Wollongong and the South Coast are definitely an area of great interest," Morgan said.
"Obviously there is a rich vein of talent down there from the past, with the likes of Scott Chipperfield and Luke Wilkshire, so it is definitely something we would like to tap into."
The Wanderers have already reached into the Illawarra talent pool, with Wolves defenders James Baldacchino and Zac Mackenzie in the club's youth squad.
But Sydney FC's own Illawarra products are ready to take up the fight.
"Last season they did really well, so it is up to us to match that Sydney rivalry and make it our season," Sydney FC defender Matt Jurman said.
"It is a good rivalry for the league and the city. We play in round three so we don't really have to wait too long for the game. So it should be good."
The Sky Blues lost both the on- and off-field battles with the Wanderers last campaign.
But Morgan believes Western Sydney's success could fuel Sydney's revival.
"If someone does something excellent and it drives you to do something excellent, that is going to benefit all the local kids," he said.
"I think Sydney, without being disrespectful, in the past have done a certain amount but have probably thought that that was enough, being the glamour club.
"When another club comes into Sydney and starts competing in the marketplace, it might shock them into having to do something," he said.
"If it means they are now going to make a bigger effort, then it is great for the game."