Saturday, October 14, 2006
The Kendall Chorus
The Central Coast Leagues Club has a small, rather dimly-lit room near the back called the Kendall Bar. This has been the pre-game meeting point for the Marinators, the Gosford team’s boisterous fan group, since well before the A-League proper began.
Last season, before the Central Coast v. Sydney game that was won 5-1 by the visitors (sorry folks, had to remind myself of that), the Kendall played host to an exuberant singing contest between the two groups of supporters.
In one memorable exchange, the Cove’s attempts to underline their “Bling” tag by chanting “We’re so rich it’s unbelievable!” met a witty retort from the Marinators: “Buy us a beer, buy us a beer, buy us a beer…”.
Last night, battle was rejoined, in similarly good-natured fashion. The Marinators were reinforced by some energetic conga-drumming, and although the Cove numbers were inevitably depleted, they gave as good as they got. It was a wonderful sight (and sound).
What made it particularly pleasing was that, outside of the singing conclaves, the two groups were mingling warmly. Less vocally gifted Covites and Marinators were chatting about the game to come, about Australia’s performance on Wednesday night, about the regime change up the road in Newcastle.
Let’s just step back for a moment, and contemplate what was happening.
This was a putative derby game, in which the two sets of supporters – and the most passionate on each side were there, believe me – were in the same bar, many half-pissed already, chanting their hearts out. And yet I doubt whether there was a single genuinely cross word exchanged between the two groups.
How often would you see that in world football?
Passion without vitriol, or violence. It’s something about certain A-League fan relationships to foster, and cherish.
Now about that game Mike...
Thanks for the heads up, TT.
I don't have the full info yet (and FWIW, I was way over the other side of the ground, in Bay 51), but it seems like it was exactly what happened last time, i.e. a few interlopers, not from the core of the Marinators, decided to pick fights with the Sydney guys just for something to do.
The core Marinators group, inter quos marinermick, Subby (rubbernose on the Mariners forum), kevrenor, LouMacari etc., are top blokes and genuinely have the game's best interests at heart. It's a real shame when some teenage dickheads partly spoil it for them.
I remember standing out Telstra Dome waiting for some friends as about 80-100 Sydney fans walked past chanting about how they'd like to petrol-bomb Melbourne. Mostly they were getting bemused looks from the locals, and I turned to my friends whoe were already there, and almost simultaneously the group of us held up one of our hands with five fingers spread out. I fancy it silenced the chanters for a second (not really, but it felt good).
Big deal. Young newbie idiot CCM fans causing trouble, not representative of the Marinators proper.
Shame too about the lack of derbies for the time being. At least you New South Welshmen have a few (and technically Queensland too.)
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