THE easing of COVID travel restrictions across the state could open the door for another A-League Women's trial to be played in Wagga late next month.
Sydney FC started an annual partnership with Newcastle Jets in 2019, where a women's and men's pre-season match would alternate between Wagga and Dubbo each year.
Equex Centre hosted a women's match in 2019, which attracted 1000 fans despite torrential rain and storms which threatened to cancel the fixture.
COVID ensured a men's match couldn't be organised for this year, and restrictions also meant it was initially scrapped for this year.
Although nothing has been set in stone and a match isn't guaranteed, the easing of restrictions has made a clash a possibility, with some initial talks already conducted with Football Wagga.
"Our strategy hasn't changed, going to Wagga every year is something we want to do. The deal we had with Newcastle around going to two regional centres, we're still focused on doing that," Townsend said.
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"COVID was the reason we haven't done it last pre season. Now things are opening up, the girls may be able to get down there.
"We originally ruled it out as we didn't think it would be a chance, but now things have opened up faster than any of us anticipated, it might be back on the cards.
"We're keen to get down there every year in some capacity."
Townsend said it was pointless to play in Wagga once and never return.
"There's no point going there and never going again. You need continuity in markets to engage fans and that doesn't happen if you do that," he said.
"There has to be regularity to it and that has been our strategy. In pre season we intend on going to regional centres, and engage fans who don't get the chance to see that level of football every week.
"Everyone really enjoyed it two years ago. The players had a good time and you want to make sure when you do these things they embrace it."
Townsend confirmed a Skill Acquisition Phase (SAP) squad will converge on Wagga to play in the Riverina Cup, the inaugural running of the event.
Football Wagga president Tony Dobbin told The Daily Advertiser early this month they're keen to continue the momentum with Sydney FC generated in 2019.
"We've had a few initial talks with Sydney FC, and they're still very keen to keep playing in the Riverina and keep that momentum going," he said.
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