Illawarra football fans, it's time to take a bow.
The region's adopted A-League side Wellington Phoenix - with support from the Wollongong Wolves - will hold a "Wollongong Appreciation Month" in March to thank local residents for their support this season. The club has been based at the University of Wollongong since November due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, playing all of their home games at WIN Stadium during their 2020/21 campaign.
"We've been grateful for the support that many Wollongong locals have shown us over the past few months as the club has made the transition to a new base in NSW," Phoenix general manager David Dome said.
"Wollongong Appreciation Month is our chance to show Wollongong locals and the business community that we very much value them accepting us into their community - by supporting us with their attendance at games, and also for the business community who have financially come on board and assisted the club through a difficult transition.
"We want to continue building our local fan base and are keen to have WIN Stadium packed full of Wollongong locals cheering on the team this season."
The Phoenix will play three crucial home games at the venue this month, starting with a clash with Perth Glory on March 7. It will be held as part of a double header at WIN Stadium, with the Wolves hosting Manly United in a NSW NPL clash as a curtain-raiser.
On this day, the Phoenix will also unveil an alternative home kit for March - named the "Wollongong Strip", which will feature an iconic red motif to honour Wollongong's sporting colours. The kit will be worn for all home games during March, and will be signed by each player to be auctioned off for charity.
Wellington will also host the Victory on March 24, with special plans around the game to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Their final home game for the month - against Macarthur FC on March 28 - will also feature a curtain-raiser, with the Wolves to meet North Bridge Bulls.