Socceroo fever hit Gosford on Sunday as hordes of Green and Gold fans converged on Central Coast Stadium to meet their World Cup heroes on day four of the national team's boot camp for Brazil.
In one of the last opportunities to wish the Socceroos luck before they head to Brazil, Australian football supporters of all ages came out to unite behind the team.
And they were treated to a special day; able to watch coach Ange Postecoglou put the sides through its paces before getting the chance to get something signed or pose for a photo with the players.
Fox Sports presenter Adam Peacock was MC for the day, while Mayor of Gosford and former Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna was also on hand.
"It's great for the Central Coast and wonderful exposure to have the team here for the week," McKinna said.
"The team has everything they need here and it's great for them to be able to really knuckle down and prepare for the World Cup. The surface here has been voted the best in the league so they can't ask for much more.
"And there's a few boys with connections to the coast and who used to play for the Mariners so it's only right for them to be here. It's great to see so many people come out and support the team."
It was also an historic day for the national team with the unveiling of the new mascot, Maloo.
The mascot was a hit with the young fans, who also were entertained by merchandise giveaways, jumping castles, face painting and mini coaching sessions.
Karen Field from Narara brought her two children Matthew (7) and Sophie (4) to be involved in the special day for all the fans.
"We can't go to Brazil but what better way to wish the team all the best than to get down here and show we're right behind them," she said.
"We'll be up watching every game and cheering them on and I really hope we can do well and show the world Australia is a force in football.
"It's great to see and meet players like Tommy Rogic and Tommy Oar and Mark Milligan. I'm not sure who's more excited, the kids or me."
The Socceroos are in camp on home soil for two weeks, fine-tuning their preparations before their first World Cup match against Chile on June 13.
Football fans in Sydney will also get the chance to get up close and personal with the Socceroos, with another fan day and open training session at WIN Jubilee Oval on Saturday, May 24.
The 30-man preliminary squad will continue training on the Central Coast until May 22, before shifting to Sydney to continue preparations for the farewell match against South Africa on May 26.
Send Off the Socceroos
Socceroos vs South Africa, presented by NAB
Monday 26 May 2014 ANZ Stadium, Sydney Kick-off: 7.30pm
Tickets from $30, including public transport. Buy now!
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