THE past week has been heaven for budding Illawarra footballers who marvelled as their A-League All Stars heroes trained and mingled with fans throughout the region.
Hundreds gathered at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Sunday, August 3, to watch the likes of Albanian superstar Besart Berisha and German maestro Thomas Broich train.
The duo and other members of the Josep Gombau-coached squad then mingled with the crowd and signed autographs for the excited youngsters.
On Friday, new Sydney FC recruit Bernie Ibini dropped by Mount Terry Public School in Albion Park before joining his All Stars teammates for Football South Coast's annual Sports Dinner.
On Monday youngsters got the opportunity to catch a glimpse of superstar Alessandro Del Piero when he trained at WIN Stadium with the All Stars squad for the first time ahead of their clash against Italian powerhouse Juventus on August 10 at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
The Italian genius also featured in the All Stars friendly against the Young Socceroos in Wollongong on Tuesday night.
Football South Coast chief executive Ann-Marie Balliana was ecstatic that the people of the Illawarra got the opportunity to see the A-League's finest in the flesh.
She said it was a credit to the region that the A-League All Stars had chosen to hold their training camp in the region.
Serie A giants Juventus' star-studded line-up for the August 10 match includes Andrea Pirlo, Gianluigi Buffon, Carlos Tevez, Paul Pogba, Patrice Evra and Arturo Vidal.
Much attention will be on Del Piero, who will play his final match in Australia after a two-year stint with Sydney FC.
Del Piero played 705 matches for Juventus and holds the record for the most games and goals in the famous black and white strip of the Bianconeri, scoring 289 goals.