By Hamish Girvan
In front of a crowd of 71500 Tottenham Hotspur legend Ossie Ardilles was interviewed pre game to a roar of a crowd of mostly ex pat English Spurs supporters Australasian domiciled. Let the game begin.
The match versus A-League runner ups Sydney FC was about to kick off – the same pre match video shown before Spurs home games in the UK was played to roars of memories cherished by those who were there in the Billy Nicholson days (yes I met one) to the new young fans who now know the superstar that is Harry Kane
The Oz Spurs fan group based in Australia behind the scenes did a fantastic job working with the club to make this happen. Their fan club chairman had guaranteed a crowd of 40000 to the NSW tourist board for funding so at least break even occurred. Getting near double that number says it all about the power of EPL teams fanbase down under.
In true English style the afternoon literally kicked off at the official Spurs bar in Sydney until due to noise and crowd numbers the local constabulary closed the bar down and escorted the fans to the train station to await the Ozspus Express. A train ride like no other – 40 minutes of non stop chanting – from the traditional “we are Spurs” to some newer songs about a local rivals manager – you could feel the passion
ANZ Stadium is spectacular with bars and food aplenty. The one thing noticeable was the number of different jerseys adorned by the fans – from the 1984 UEFA cup winners version to today’s AIA Seatbelt version every fan has their favourite. A fairly good bet will be that 90% of Chelsea fans that turn up on Wednesday for their fixture here will have Samsung adorned across their jersey.
The game – hardly a classic – Harry Kane scored the only goal and winner. That was worth the price of admission. Spurs played like a team on an end of season tour. A big positive most agreed with was Yedlin at fullback starting his first full game. He can defend which is a rarity from this seasons Spurs defence. Sydney played like they did in the A-League final – their home fans cheering sarcastically when they completed a pass in the second half – Spurs cruised it -and they won the AIA Cup – more silverware !
The contingent from a informal fan group from Auckland were a highlight. @nzspur (nice twitter handle) deserves big ups for organising tickets plus the rest of the team from a pure banter perspective – a Wellington meet up is being organised during the next Phoenix season.
COME ON YOU SPURS
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