ALW offers audition for World Cup hopefuls

With the Women's World Cup looming, the stars of the A-League Women's competition are determined to put their name up in lights and earn their spot on football's biggest stage.

The extended ALW season flows through from this weekend until the end of April in a perfect build-up to the tournament in Australia and New Zealand in July-August next year.

With Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson now based in Australia, some players will hope to force their way into the squad, while the likes of Alex Chidiac, Chloe Logarzo and Elise Kellond-Knight can solidify their spots.

"It's really, really important, now Tony is in Australia and all eyes are going to be on us in the A-League," Western United recruit Logarzo told AAP.

"It's so important that everyone understands that this is a unique opportunity that will be once in a lifetime - that you can put everything on the field, you can play the best that you can and leave it all up to what's going to happen.

"There's so much investment going into this league and there's so much investment going into the World Cup that hopefully all eyes are on us and we're going to take it and run."

Logarzo is Western United's star signing, on loan from NWSL side Kansas City Current until February.

The midfielder hopes that 12-14 game stint will allow her to showcase her worth and help the newcomers start their season with a bang.

That start will come at home to back-to-back champions Melbourne Victory on Saturday, when the visitors' newly arrived Matildas Chidiac and Kellond-Knight will link up for the first time.

Adelaide United host last season's premiers Sydney FC on Sunday in what is arguably the match of the round.

Sky Blues midfielder Mackenzie Hawkesby emerged as one of the league's finest players last season, earning a Matildas call-up mid-year. She has an eye on making national team debut next season.

"I was able to see where I'm at and where I need to be if I want to break back into the squad," Hawkesby told AAP.

"Come the 2023 World Cup it's really important for me, and a lot of girls in the league, to have a really good season so they can push for it.

"Anything can happen - there's a lot of young players in the league who could push for a spot and there's a lot of Matildas back in the league as well, which makes it even stronger."

Meanwhile Wellington will kick-off on home soil for the first time, after spending their inaugural season based in Wollongong because of COVID-19 protocols.

They open their second campaign against Melbourne City on Sunday, with their local players hoping to impress New Zealand coach Jitka Klimkova.

"It's an audition," Phoenix goalkeeper Lily Alfeld told AAP. "There's a lot at stake."

City's New Zealand international Hannah Wilkinson will miss the start of the season with a quad injury, while Matildas and Brisbane Roar midfielder Katrina Gorry will be rested for at least the first two weeks.