To Russia with the Green And Gold Army...
IT'S not too late to join the Green and Gold Army and support the Socceroos in their quest for glory in the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The finals involving 32 teams kick off in Moscow - with hosts Russia facing Saudi Arabia - on June 14.
Australia play their first game of the finals campaign on June 16 against France in Kazan, which is the capital of the Tatarstan region of Russia.
Kazan, which has a population of just over one million, is known as the "Sports Capital of Russia."
The Socceroos second game is on June 21 against Denmark in another large regional city, Samara, which also has a population of just over one million.
The third game of the group stage is against Peru and will be played on June 26 in Sochi, one of Russia's best known sporting cities. It hosted the Winter Olympics in 2014 and the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix is held there ever year.
If the Aussies make it through the group stages, the Round of 16 will start on June 30 and run until July 3.
The World Cup final will be held in Moscow on July 15.
The Green and Gold Army, which was established in 2001, has been the official travel agent of Football Federation Australia since 2013.
It offers World Cup package tours which include accommodation, ground transportation, social functions, host city tours and local and Australian guides.
The GG Army website states: "When it comes to supporting our national teams on the road, we have unparalleled experience. We’re the only football-focused organisation to have arranged travel for thousands of Socceroos and Matildas fans to World Cups, Asian Cups and countless qualifiers and friendlies.
"Whether it be Tim Cahill’s double in Kaiserslautern, the incredible 3-1 win over England, Johnny Aloisi’s penalty in Sydney or the Matildas knocking Brazil out of the World Cup, we’ve been there, lapping up the moment and giving our teams the world’s best support.
"We’re passionate football fans and have developed our travel packages with fellow supporters exclusively in mind. We understand how football’s unique support fits perfectly with amazing cultural opportunities and vibrant social functions to create the kind of travel experience that will stay with you for a lifetime."
It is believed that a group of around 50 fans from Perth will swell the numbers of the Green and Gold Army in Russia.
Tour packages are still available and details can be accessed on the group's website - ggarmy.com.
This will be the fifth time - and fourth in a row - that the Socceroos have reached the World Cup finals. Qualification was gained in 1974 (held in Germany); 2006 (Germany); 2010 (South Africa) and 2014 (Brazil).
Players (and coaches) from WA have been involved in the last three World Cup finals - and it's hoped to have at least two WA-born players in the 2018 squad.