Calling themselves the Supporteroos, these Matildas supporters have been playing games all over France during the FIFA Women's World Cup.
They’ve come up against other fans, nuclear scientists, police forces and in their most recent game a lightning storm.
Originally from Russia, Suppoteroos founder Petr Kuzmin saw an opportunity to do something special when the 2018 World Cup was played in his home country.
“About a month before the World Cup I set up a Facebook group, it was a big leap of faith I didn’t really know how people would react to it but people starting signing up,” he said.
Online sign-ups were one thing but Petr still wasn’t sure if anyone would show up until the day of the first match in Russia.
Like the Socceroos, the Supporteroos were up against French opposition setting up the match with the help of a network called Fans Embassy who assist teams set up fan friendlies all across Europe.
“Our youngest player was 12 and our oldest 64 and we all came together on the day and met each other for the first time. We conceded two goals early but managed to come back and win 6 - 3,” Kuzmin said.
The on field victory came after Petr was interrogated for a few hours by Russian police who were concerned about the potential for violence. They had little to worry about as the teams enjoyed drinks afterwards and the Australian’s came up with their name the ‘Supporteroos’.
While there haven’t been any police interrogations in France the Supporteroos have had to deal with other obstacles, namely finding opposition in each of the host cities.
However, once opposition was found it ended up being a great experience for both sides.
“We’ve mostly played local fans. In Valenciennes, we played against the Valenciennes Ultras, so the Ultra supporters of the local team," Kuzmin said.
"They turned out to be the sweetest guys, we started as nine v nine but we had a family come with a five-year-old and an eight-year-old so they allowed them to play making it eleven on nine and let the kids score a few goals.”
In Grenoble, the Supporteroos came up against a team made up of nuclear scientists who work at the research centres and universities. An extra surprise came in the form of the second half referee and current A-League chief, Greg O’Rourke.
“Grenoble was a special experience, it was an evening game with a very big turnout for us with more female players than male players," Kuzmin said.
"Afterwards, they had a barbeque for us and the setting was spectacular, we had the mountains all around us and we stayed almost until midnight.”
Unable to play in Nice because of pitch availability the Supporteroos were happy to arrive in Lyon and find that there had been a pitch set up in the fan zone.
Their first game was against the ‘American Outlaws’ and saw the biggest Australian turn out of the tournament so far.
“In the end we had 27 people play and we had to sub the whole team, so the keeper stayed but we did almost an ice hockey style line change. We ended up losing eight- three but we scored the last goal so that was very satisfying.”
Following the game against the Americans, the Supporteroos were approached by the Lyonnaise police force who wanted to play a friendly against them the next day.
Aside from getting to meet football fans from all over the world, Petr feels that one of the best parts of these friendlies have been the numbers of Australian participants in each game.
“For me, the great thing was how many people and players we were able to attract, out of those 27 only four were guys. These games they bring people together from different social circles and we bump into each other at games and you have an instant connection now that you have played together.”
One of these players was Amelia Gilbert who had come to France on a solo trip to support the Matildas and ended up as a part of the Supporteroos family.
“Basically I’ve been hanging out with all of these Aussie fans who I had never met," Gilbert said
"I played against the American Outlaws and scored a goal on debut which was really fun, on the pitch it was a bit of a fierce rivalry but after the game, it was really great to share some drinks and share some food.”
The amount of female participation was not lost on Amelia either and was one of the most positive aspects of these games for her.
“As a woman in sport, a woman in football, it can be a little bit intimidating turning up when you’re the only girl," she said.
"I’ve played some kickarounds in Australia where I show up and I’m the only girl. It was so nice to turn up to these fan matches and the majority of people in our team are women.
"One thing I know Petr is really proud of and I’m really proud of is we have the best female representation out of all the fan teams.”