Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic feels his side proved with its gutsy debut it not only belongs in the A-League but even more so in the city's 'football heartland'.
The Wanderers went into their first encounter unknown and unfancied against Central Coast Mariners.
But after holding last season's Premiers' Plate winner to a 0-0 result, the fledgling club left Parramatta Stadium with the respect of any doubters, and having firmly established a foundation in western Sydney's sporting battleground.
Perhaps the most poignant moment came just before kick-off, when supporters unfurled a huge banner simply stating: "Football comes home".
"You could feel it before the game that there are lot of passionate people out here who want to support a team, they want a team in the west," Popovic said.
"I think they can see that their team is very competitive and they want to win which is very important.
"That resonates I think with the people of the west. They're winners, they work hard for their dollar, they strive hard to achieve things in life and hopefully that is reflected in the team they watched here."
There were no goals but the Wanderers created more than triple the chances of the Mariners - seven shots on goal to the Central Coast's two - with former Newcastle Jets frontman Labinot Haliti and ex-Sydney FC striker Mark Bridge among those keeping Mariners' gloveman Matt Ryan busy.
Japan star Shinji Ono came on as a late substitute and showed several flashes of quality.
"We got a result and we showed that we can compete at this level," Popovic said.
"We set ourselves high expectations, we said that we'd be very competitive on the first day that we took on this project and we had no doubt that we would be.
"So the performance the boys put in doesn't surprise anyone in our dressing room."
The Wanderers don't have the easiest of runs to start their first A-League campaign, facing Adelaide United next week, cross-town rival Sydney FC the week after followed by a clash with reigning champion Brisbane Roar.
But former Australia defender Popovic says the only way is up for his new team.
"For us each day was a new day and each day we want to improve and that's what we've done from day one," he said.
"Now it's about getting together on Monday trying to learn and improve from this game and trying to prepare well for a very hard match in Adelaide."
Marquee man Alessandro Del Piero will spearhead the A-League All Stars after being voted into the side to face EPL champion Manchester United next month.