Soccer: Give Bay welcome to the Jets

By Anendra Singh

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Paul Ifill. Photo / Cameron McIntosh
Paul Ifill. Photo / Cameron McIntosh

It looked like scenes from the gleeful tomato-pelting festival in the Spanish town of Bunol.

Except it was Parramatta, Sydney, as chest-baring blokes packing Pirtek Stadium bobbed and bounced to back the Western Sydney Wanderers soccer team playing against the Wellington Phoenix on Sunday night.

The energetic ones engaged in a Poznan-like celebration which involves fans standing with their backs to the pitch, linking shoulders side-by-side and jumping on the spot in unison. It is mostly associated with the Polish city of Lech Poznan but England's Manchester City fans and Celtic and Rangers faithful from Scotland have adopted similar dance routines called The Huddle or The Bouncy.

Wanderers fans perform it in the 80th minute of matches to represent the first soccer match played in Western Sydney in 1880.

On April 12 this year, in the A-League semifinal and grand final, predominantly the entire stadium did the poznan despite the Wanderers trailing 2-0 in the latter encounter.

When the Phoenix host Newcastle Jets at Mclean Park, Napier, this Sunday fans here won't have to go to that extent but simply go through the turnstiles to make the televised match a memorable one.

By yesterday, 4500 fans had bought tickets but co-organiser Kevin Murphy said those who buy them before game day would save $10.

"We have some work to do to get there but it's totally in the hands of the locals," Murphy said of the first Phoenix game to be played in the Bay.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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