Saturday, 16 February 2008

A change in scenery

Last night I finally got round to checking out a Victorian Premier League match. I had given it thought around the same time last year but in the end I never got round to it. Probably too many other distractions - it may have been when I started taking up golf. Anyway back to the matter at hand, the match I went to was the first of the new Foxtel Cup season between Richmond Eagles and last year's champions, Preston Lions at Kevin Bartlett Reserve.

Having never supported a VPL team before, I went through and long arduous selection process in order to choose one. In fact, it boiled down to a club that had a stadium that was easily accessible by public transport from my house in Kensington. So in the end it basically came down to Richmond and South Melbourne, and I couldn't support the latter due to not liking them during their NSL days, so Richmond it was. Reading through the club history and discovering that it was origins were in the local German community and myself having the surname, Zimmerman it seemed like it was preordained.

To the game itself I thoroughly enjoyed the experience as I stood (no seats or stands here) with the small but loud supporter group based at the Heyington Bridge end of the ground. As the game progressed I slowly joined in more and more with their chanting that was in a mixture of English and German and got talking with some of the supporters. The home support was severely outnumbered by the visiting fans which was clearly evident when Preston scored their only goal for the game. Highlights of the night in no particular order for me were:

- The result, a 5-1 win to the home team over the defending champions was a good way to start the season;
- Some well taken goals - one free kick stands out;
- The availability of German beers from the club bar;
- The raffle ticket seller and her warning for us not to set off any flares as any money she raised would have to go paying the fine;
- The announcement of the winner of the match day raffle by a person carrying around a piece of cardboard with the winning ticket number written on it (unfortunately I didn't win); and
- The barman after the game giving myself and another supporter the "special" German beer, in his words something you would get at the opera. Maybe it was something you would drink at a Wagnerian opera.

After my first taste of the VPL I definitely will be back for future games, both home and away. Its an experience completely polls apart from that at an A-League match and one that has whetted my appetite, much to the chagrin of my girlfriend.


Blogger john said...

Thanks Neil

Please find us some more A-League players. We need another Sasa up here.

24 February 2008 at 09:26  
Blogger Neil said...

Sorry John but I'll be keeping all the good players to myself so that the Victory can have first crack at them.

24 February 2008 at 10:32  

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