IT'S time to strike while the iron's hot.
The Wagga soccer community will never get a better chance to try and convince governments to loosen the purse strings and give the code the home it deserves.
There's a sentiment out there from many who love the round ball game that they're not given as much priority as some other sports, Aussie Rules and rugby league in particular, when funding allocation decisions are made.
With the 2023 Women's World Cup coming to our shores, and Riverina MP Michael McCormack already declaring his interest in convincing a national team to use Wagga as a training base, there's no better time to road test this theory.
Football Wagga has been agitating for a new boutique stadium at their Rawlings Park base for the past couple of years.
The first big step in the ambitious plan has come to fruition with a federal government grant of $450,000 paving the way for lighting to increase from just one field to four.
The entire plan, which includes an artificial turf stadium, would cost several million dollars and require significant input from the state government.
Although officials may baulk at the initial outlay, a case can be made that the cost would be reimbursed eventually by attracting state championship-level tournaments, which are usually played at Port Macquarie.
A 3-5000 seat stadium would offer up the chance to secure these events, which in turn pour huge amounts of money into the local economy with visitors securing accommodation and eating out at pubs and restaurants.
Local coach Liam Dedini summed up the potential impact of the Women's World Cup nicely.
"It's going to grow the game but personally I think it's going to get more numbers into the game, and the government will be able to fund things," he said.
"(We can look at) things we've been wanting to do for a long time, where we've been behind a bit without funding or resources.
"Bringing 32 national teams here, we're going to have to lift our game with stadiums and resources and put some money back into the game, which is something I don't think we've done much of before and been behind the other codes."