Melbourne City can finally seal a long-awaited A-League trophy if they beat Central Coast, and skipper Scott Jamieson says it's the reward their fans deserve.
When the City Football Group took over A-League strugglers Melbourne Heart in 2014, a rapid turnaround was predicted.
But despite Melbourne City's W-League team snaring a plethora of trophies, for the club's A-League outfit, the takeover and rebrand has so far delivered an FFA Cup victory and a grand final appearance.
That could change on Saturday night, with City able to secure the A-League premiers plate with a win over Central Coast at AAMI Park.
Skipper Scott Jamieson said if City sealed the trophy, it would be just reward for those who'd stuck it out - while he hoped fans who'd become disconnected along the way would also relish the moment.
"It's obviously special to win any trophies as a player, but ... we've been widely criticised with our numbers in terms of fans," Jamieson said.
"Some of that I definitely think is deserved but I'd like to think the fans that have turned up from from day one from Melbourne Heart days through to Central Coast on Saturday - they're the ones I'm super happy for.
"Even the ones that came but have probably gone away, I hope to think that you know that this is an opportunity for them - if we do win a trophy - to celebrate it too.
"Because people come and go in a football club but if you've been a part of it, if you've been a member and supported any team throughout Melbourne Heart or Melbourne City - then I like to think that it's an opportunity for you to to enjoy it."
Jamieson said securing the premiers plate would be a great reward for City before they turn their attention to finals.
"Throughout the season, there's a lot of ups and downs but if you're able to sit on top, throughout the regular season, that's a great achievement," he said.
"If it does happen for our football club we'll definitely cherish it but then put it aside and then work towards winning the second trophy."
Earlier on Saturday, Wellington Phoenix will play their first game in New Zealand since March 2020 when they host Western United - and former boss Mark Rudan - at Westpac Stadium.
The Phoenix are back home for a two-game stint and Saturday's clash is a must-win game for their finals aspirations.
With more than 17,000 tickets already sold, Wellington are also hopeful of setting this season's top A-League crowd - surpassing the 20,336 fans who headed to the Sydney derby earlier this month.
Coach Ufuk Talay has signed on for a further two seasons, while Ben Waine, Clayton Lewis and Oli Sail have also committed.
It will also be an opportunity for Wellington fans to farewell Phoenix great Andrew Durante, with the Western United veteran announcing his retirement during the week.