Saturday, March 31, 2007
Tomorrow (April 1) marks the league debut, in the Eastern Suburbs Football Association, of the club now known as Lokomotiv Cove – a collection of similarly-minded Sydney FC fans who have built a club from scratch in a remarkably short time.
I’ll be able to tell my grandkids that I played in the first ever Lokomotiv Cove game, a hastily-arranged match against a group of Mariners fans in late 2005, which formed the centrepiece of a community day organized by the Central Coast club. For the record, the Sydney men won 4-0 (and, also for the record, my contribution was minimal).
The Lokomotiv moniker was apparently derived from the fact that several of the Covers in question had travelled up to the Coast by train that day.
Shortly afterwards, Lokomotiv Cove took to the hallowed turf of Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane to take on representatives of The Den, Queensland Roar’s most dedicated fans, in a curtain-raiser to a Queensland v. Sydney FC league match. The Covers fared better than their professional counterparts on that occasion.
But it was not to be just an ad hoc phenomenon. A determined, tireless crew, comprising (among others) Lincoln Saunders, Shane Porter and Ben Willing (the SMH’s football blogger) have been going through the maddening process of registering the club with an association, hiring grounds, securing sponsorship, and recruiting players over the last year or so. The result is that, on Sunday, no fewer than eight teams will be representing Lokomotiv Cove in the first round of the ESSFA competition.
It’s a superb initiative, and one that I hope can be replicated (in some form) by all the A-League supporter groups, if it hasn’t already been.