About midway through the first half I noticed a few Matildas warming up near where I was standing so I thought it would be a good opportunity to get some autographs.
Sarah Walsh ran over and signed the 'fandana' (Green and Gold bandana). It wasn't long ago before Mexico had made it 1-0 so I asked Sarah "Are you going to kick a couple of goals."
She said "Yes" and indicated she had to head off. Nobody else in the group came over.
I then saw another group of Matildas warming up and as they jogged past I called out "Can I please get an autograph?".
Kate McShea said "After the game." and jogged back to the bench.
The second half was a lot better than the first half in terms of tempo and domination. Maybe it was the gradually building up crowd that inspired the Matildas to really take it to the Mexicans.
Inevitably they scored - twice. The announcer credited the second goal to Collette McCallum so I managed to see her number as the camera zoomed in on her. I was having trouble finding her (Its hard to know who is who when coverage is limited to print).
The final whistle went and after bowing to the four sides of the stadium, I saw Kate McShea and a few of her Matildas jogging toward my area.
After giving me an autograph I congratulated Kate Gill on scoring her goal. I then said "Make sure you score some in the World Cup next year".
Kate McShea then gave me an autograph and said "See I told you we'll be back". And I said "Yeah I saw you jogging over and I thought 'Yay, she kept her promise'".
Sally Shipard also gave me an autograph, and two others that I couldn't recognise (Cailtin Munoz and Karla Reuter?). But there was one autograph missing - My favourite player - Collette McCallum.
I saw her tear apart the field as a Young Matilda in the Women's U19s Championships on SBS in November 2004. I have seen how she has made the Matildas squad due to skill and hard work. And yes - she is cute.
Seeing number 14 sitting way off in the distance - and knowing that was her - I had to find a means of getting her over.
I asked Sarah Walsh (standing next to me) "Can you please call over Collette McCallum?". And she did. She called out "Collette" a few times. And when that didn't work, she jogged over to Collette and pointed me out.
Collette McCallum jogged over and gave me her autograph. I said "I had to get an autograph of my favourite player" - she probably thought I had said that to everyone but she thanked me nonetheless.
I then congratulated her on the goal she didn't score and retired to my seat.
I couldn't have hoped for a better result, and a better experience.
Thank you Sarah Walsh for giving me an autograph during your warm up session. Thank you Sarah Walsh for calling over Collette McCallum. Thank you Kate McShea for keeping your word. Thank you Collette McCallum for your autograph. And thank you to the other girls for your autographs.
Good luck in July!