RAIN couldn't dampen the spirits of the youngsters who walked onto Parramatta Stadium to roaring cheers of hundreds of Western Sydney Wanderers A-League fans.
About 45 kids aged 9-11 from Nepean FC's Skills Acquisition Program got their moment in the spotlight being part of the recent Wanderers game against Perth Glory.
The children were player mascots when they walked onto the ground with their heroes.
Others showed their skills on field during the half-time entertainment.
St Marys-based Nepean FC 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 Skills Acquisition Program members are coached in 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 game here when they could have gone elsewhere.
"The Wanderers are very community minded and all the kids know the players' names."
Nepean FC will play in men's state league one, which starts next month.
Home games will be played at Cook Park, St Marys.