Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today paid tribute to the outstanding atmosphere created by fans during the weekend’s Sydney derby.

With over 40,000 fans having packed into the stadium for the pulsating 1-1 draw, PFA President Matt McKay said the atmosphere highlighted why the A-League’s fans are the envy of the other major codes.

“Ahead of the match all stakeholders called for every effort to be made to ensure that those who look to attack the game were denied the opportunity to do so, and this call was heeded,” said McKay.

“The atmosphere was truly electric and once again highlighted why the fans continue to be a driving force behind the A-League. The A-League has a match day atmosphere that only it can create.

“Every effort must be made to give fans a greater role in the game. It is the power of the relationship that fans have with their club that lies at the heart of the world’s greatest leagues.”

Sydney FC captain Alex Brosque said the fans had made an enormous contribution to the match.

“Fans can push players to another level on the pitch and both sets of supporters certainly did that on Saturday night,” said Brosque. “To play in an atmosphere like that is the dream of any player and it highlights just how far the game has come.”

Western Sydney Wanderers Captain and PFA Delegate Nikolai Topor-Stanley hailed the fans and called for all in Australian football to work together to drive growth for the game.

“The atmosphere that the fans created on Saturday night was unbelievable,” said Topor-Stanley. “We must look to build on this and all stakeholders must work together to power the game to new heights.”