Illawarra's football's national standing continues to be enhanced, with Football Federation Australia to today announce the Matildas will kick-off a friendly series against China at WIN Stadium in November.
The decision comes four days after 6540 fans watched the Newcastle Jets defeat Sydney 1-0 in an A League friendly at the venue.
Matildas coach Hesterine de Reus will be using the November 24 match as part of preparations for next year's women's Asian Cup in Vietnam and Lake Illawarra product - and the Matildas youngest ever player - Caitlin Foord, is looking forward to a homecoming.
"I'm really excited to come back and play because it's my home town," Foord said.
"My friends and family will be able to come along and watch. That's always exciting for me because they don't get to see me play much.
"We [Matildas] played here in June last year against New Zealand. We had two matches and that was really fun because it's such a good field."
The Matildas are ranked eighth in the world, eight places ahead of China, though they have a shocking head-to-head record with six wins from 33 matches with 19 losses and eight draws.
"It's always tough against the Asian teams because they're so strong over there," Foord said.
"It will be tough match but we've got a few wins from them before so we'll just have to stick it out. We normally snatch one at the end so hopefully we can do that."
Foord was on hand for the announcement of the match a week after returning from the US where she played her debut National Women's Soccer League season with New Jersey's Sky Blue FC.
"It was such a good experience," Foord said.
"It was very different to here. We played a lot more games and the intensity was very high.
"There are lot of international players so it was a tough game every game."
However, the 18-year-old's debut season was cut short by injury.
"I got injured six weeks out from the end so I was in a boot for the rest of the season," she said.
"It was tough because I missed the semis but I was happy to still be there. I didn't need surgery so I was happy to stay with the team."
Foord lined up as a defender alongside US captain and veteran of 284 internationals, Christie Rampone, and helped Sky Blue produce nine clean sheets and a record 425 consecutive shut-out minutes during the season.
"She [Rampone] has got so much experience so to be able to play with her and learn off her was really good," Foord said.
Despite missing the last six weeks of the season through injury, Foord's early season form earned her a place in the NWSL second XI at season's end.
"That was a surprise because I wasn't playing for the last six weeks," she said.
"To be named in that side, I guess it shows I had a pretty good season over there."
Now back in Australia, Foord is determined to help Sydney FC to a repeat of last season's grand final victory.
"There's a bit of change in the team but I think we can do it. We came good last year at just the right time so hopefully this season we can do the same thing," she said.
Though committed to Sydney FC, Foord said she would like to see an Illawarra team in the W League.
"It would be good to see. They'd be able to have WIN Stadium as their home ground which would be really good because it's such a good field and teams would love to come play here," she said.