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Column: The wave of momentum built in Qatar must continue

The outpouring of support for the Socceroos is massive for the growth of our game here in Australia. With the viral videos of the scenes in Melbourne during the Roos' last clash against Tunisia still fresh in our minds, now becomes the time to capitalise and push the game forward.

Over 1.7 million viewers tuned into the game and cheered loudly as Mitch Duke headed home a now-famous goal that keeps Australia's destiny in their own hands at this World Cup.

A key narrative of the squad this year is about being made in the A-League. With the vast majority either plying their trade there currently or having played in the league before, the domestic game is being thrust into the spotlight again.

Photo: Aleks Kostadinoski (@thatfootballphotog)

The APL, the A-League clubs, Football Australia, and the fans must ride this wave and ensure that we convert as many eyeballs from the Cup to the A-League.

There will always be a corner of people who only follow the game for major tournaments and the euro snobs that you will never convert, but a large percentage are ripe for the picking to grow our game in the stands which will lead to better play on the pitch.

Last season 896,242 fans came through the doors at A-League games. This shows that there is an interest in football on a large scale in this country and it is up to us to bring these casual fans along for the journey and get them into the terraces. Football in this country is a sleeping giant and the unification of "old soccer" and "new football" is a key milestone that needs to be reached. The sooner we achieve this, the sooner we will be able to launch towards these casual observers who haven't taken a sustained interest in the league.

Now I see those who will say there's a difference between the A-Leagues and a World Cup, Obviously this is the case and I'm not expecting to see hundreds of thousands of people suddenly showing up to our domestic league. What we need to do is get those who are on the fence excited about what they've seen into the terraces to watch the next generation of Socceroos coming through the ranks.

Photo: Aleks Kostadinoski (@thatfootballphotog)

The fans need to play their part by showing up in numbers to support their club and bring the atmosphere, the colour and the positive energy that is unique to football. Scenes like Saturday night with a packed Fed Square shines as a bright example of what football is capable of. The more we see positive stories like this, the more people will want to be a part of it which leads to the growth of our beloved game.

As always and no matter which club you support, it's time to pack the terraces, bring your mates and support your clubs as the game grows!

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