Saturday, 22 August 2009

Thanks for the peanuts, but seriously

Or how the global financial crisis is hitting Green Gully fans hard.

I was at Altona East today, and after watching two lacklustre games, I figured that I've got my media pass with me, why not watch the qualifying final next door between Altona Magic and Green Gully?

Not a bad crowd considering the small fanbases these two clubs have, as well as the complete irrelevance of this competition to everyone. Some interested onlookers included South assistant coach Phil Peladrinos, two game senior veteran Stefaan Sardelic, spanakopita heir/Heidelberg coach George Katsakis, and remakarbly, even FFV CEO Mark Rendell.

The game being a 6 goal, extra time, penalty shoot out thriller had its moments, but you can read about those elsewhere. What those match reports won't tell you is about how hard Green Gully's fans are doing it in this difficult economic climate. The stimulus packages don't seem to have trickled down to Green Gully Reserve though.

The reason I say this is because rather than purchase any food or drink from the venue - and Altona Magic is one of the cheapest canteens in the VPL - the Gully fans, a whole swathe of them, came prepared with everything they needed. Thermoses full of coffee, a sugar box, paper cups, biscuits, scones. Even the peanut/pumpkin seed man got the short end of the stick, as Gully's fans had even brought their own peanuts (which admittedly some of which they offered me).

My thinking on these matters has always been that either you buy food or drink at the ground, or you take care of all that business before the game and discreetly. The flaunting of their refusal to partake of the local delicacies was most intriguing, and gives one wild ideas about going absolutely nuts with the idea: Clarendon Corner bake sale fundraiser at Green Gully next year?

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