It’s a real shame I hadn’t kept the blog up to date back in May because a real once-in-a-lifetime moment happened back then.
Many who know me personally know that music is my number one passion, closely followed by football. What’s kind of interesting about this the thing I love about two vastly different forms of art (yes, football is art) is actually the same thing.
You see, I don’t really play football that often. Nor do I feel particularly bothered to observe the technical prowess of Lionel Messi or Christiano Ronaldo. Of course, a good game of fluid, passing and technically strong football is better than shit teams hoofing it for a dull 0-0, but it’s not what drives my enjoyment of the game.
Similarly with music, I am a self taught guitarist who basically picked up a guitar and learned Green Day and Blink-182 songs. Of course I appreciate good musicianship and there’s a reason I love bands like A Wilhelm Scream, but my love of music – whether thats punk, metal, hardcore, r&b or whatever isn’t necessarily through the technical ability of a guitarist or vocal range of a singer.
It’s the passion.
It’s the emotion.
It’s the belonging and feeling part of a tight knit community.
With football, I am a long suffering Ipswich Town supporter. The club’s tradition has been generally one of playing fluid, passing football. It’s ‘The Ipswich way’. But the reason I love the club is it’s my hometown club. My little community. A lot more spiel about it is here and it’s something I do miss about the UK.
It didn’t take me long to find a new club in Sydney FC and I’ve written about the great times already.
Our captain, Alex Brosque, wrote this article which highlights exactly why Sydney FC is such an amazing club and culture. But I’m here to talk about the strange experience of this season’s Grand Final.
We began the season with a 4-0 routing of our arch rivals and never looked back. Heaps of fun evenings and days following the team followed, and the team finished top of the Table breaking records on the way. But that doesn’t make you champions. You then have semi finals against the top 6 and then a grand final.
This year, we faced Melbourne Victory.
A physical, dirty club with a manager who perfectly encapsulates Gamesmanship in Kevin Muscat. We had comfortably beaten them three times that season but they had absolutely nothing to lose in the Final and were heavy underdogs.
I was apprehensive, but confident, which in itself is a strange feeling for me.
If you’re a Man United supporter, you expect to win every game. Not if you’re an Ipswich Town fan. Supporting Sydney FC, we aren’t necessarily any bigger than Victory or WSW (or maybe even Brisbane Roar?) and I doubt we have the financial klout of Melbourne City (owned by Manchester City), but most matches I went to (aside from the Derbies and the big games) I was certain of a win. Alas it is the standard of the A League in that respect.
The game itself was not that great, but the experience unforgettable.
Victory had a game plan to stifle us and it worked fantastically. It just didn’t feel like it was going to be our night. So many times as an Ipswich and England supporter had I seen my team frustrated by gamesmanship, dirty tactics, diving (HELLO PORTUGAL EURO 2004) and the majority of the game we were exceptionally unlucky. So I could see it happening again, as has happened SO many times for me in my lifetime of being a football supporter (with the exceptions of the 2000 Play Off Final)
But thank Christ did our fortune turn as I don’t think I could have handled the heartbreak of a Grand Final defeat.
The highlights are below and you can just hear the passion and incredible atmosphere. It was the best football experience of my life.
We’ve begun this season already with a 1-0 win away at Victory and our first home game of the season is this weekend, followed by a derby against Western Sydney.
I can’t wait. Here’s to more incredible times and memories.
(hopefully an experience can be similar to this)