RAIN couldn't dampen the spirits of local youngsters who walked onto Parramatta Stadium to roaring cheers of hundreds of Western Sydney Wanderers A-League fans.
Around 45 youngsters aged 9-11 from Nepean FC's Skills Acquisition Program (SAP) got their moment in the spotlight being part of the recent Wanderers game against Perth Glory.
Youngsters were player mascots when they walked with their heroes onto the ground. Others showed off their skills on the field as part of the half-time entertainment.
Nepean District Soccer Football Association was given short notice about the opportunity after another association pulled out.
"To see their little beaming faces as they walked onto the field holding the players' hands was priceless," Nepean District Soccer Football Association technical director James Rankine said.
The association has built strong ties with the Wanderers in its inaugural A-League season.
It has formed a pathway program with the club where SAP participants are coached along the same curriculum as the Wanderers.
Talented juniors will be selected for Wanderers-run programs and Nepean FC's SAP teams have the Wanderers logo on their jerseys.
"We're doing whatever we can to help our players," Rankine said. "With almost 12,000 players, the Wanderers believed we were doing something right. We hosted their first ever game here when they could have gone elsewhere. The Wanderers are very community minded and all the kids know the players names."
The association has moved on since missing out on Football NSW's top two premier league competitions.
Nepean FC will play in men's State League One, which kicks off next month.