All the way from down under to cheer our boys on!

This past week has been a mixed bag of results with even more erratic weather to boot but an undeniable highlight of the week for us was having the honor of meeting up with longtime Tricolore Pride reader, Brett, and his family from Melbourne! Not only did he and his family travel all the way here to cheer on their beloved Melbourne Victory, they even came along to the Kashima game to show their support!

Brett was also kind enough to write us an account of his stay in Yokohama complete with some awesome photos to share too! Thanks Brett!!

This is in two parts. Why you say?
Well at home in Melbourne, Australia our home team is Melbourne Victory. But from previous visits to Japan, Yokohama F. Marinos are our J-League team we follow. This for the most part has meant we have had to follow the Marinos from afar by watching occasional feeds and (you guessed it) by checking out the Tricolore Pride website, among other web sources.
By the quirk of Melb. Victory qualifying for the Group Stages of the the 2014 ACL, and the Yokohama F. Marinos winning the Emperor’s Cup, It turns out that the two teams I follow actually compete against each other (for the first time) in the Group stages of the Asian Champions League. This opportunity was too good to miss, hence the whole family made the journey from Australia to Japan to see these teams play at the Nissan.
However, as fans of the F. Marinos, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to travel earlier to see the F. Marinos play Kashima Antlers, the weekend before the Melb. Victory fixture.
Hence, Part One should be taken as from the Marinos fan point of view (just to clear up any suggestions of Bi-Polar)
Part One:
By now, anyone reading this post will have known the result for a while now. Up 1-nil at Half Time, it was looking good for the Marinos. Then the Second Half. Quite simply, loose defending cost the F. Marinos 3 goals and at the final whistle, Yokohama F. Marinos 1 – 3 Kashima Antlers. Less said about this result the better in my opinion.
Not because I can’t handle losing (well that’s not completely true, but that can be said about any football supporter), but because while disappointing, the result was not the sole reason we (my family) travelled to see Yokohama that day.
You see, for the players and all staff associated with (any) club, their success and failure is purely based on the cold results after 90 plus minutes; and the tabled results as the season/competition progresses.
If we as fans were to adopt this, we would never invest the money, time, or (most importantly) the passion to follow a club. While we all suffer bad results, the passion to follow a team can never be measured against. Which is why, even after a loss like that suffered by Yokohama F. Marinos last weekend, fans will show up again at the next game to go through 90 minutes of tension and hope again. And again after that. And so on…
It was this passion to see our adopted team play that brought us to Japan in the first place. So my family and I quickly looked past last Saturday’s Kashima result, and instead left the Nissan proud of having been able to participate in cheering on the boys, meeting new people, sharing the shifting emotions as the game progressed, and catching up with Brendan and Daniel from Tricolour Pride.
Below are some images that try to capture some of the colour and atmosphere we experienced that sunny Saturday afternoon in late March.
So to all the F. Marinos fans we met that day, though we spend most of our time a hemisphere away, we thank-you so much for welcoming us.
Part two:
And now comes the reason why we travelled. A brief recap or ‘previously on Tricolore Pride’…
Live in Melbourne Australia, follow Melbourne Victory (the ‘One Team in Melbourne’), also follow from afar Yokohama F. Marinos, both teams are playing each other in the group stages of the 2014 ACL, hence family on plane to Japan to see Victory play Yokohama at the Nissan. Right, up to speed?
With Saturday’s F. Marinos songs still ringing in our ears, come Wednesday afternoon we had to turn our attention to supporting our Melbourne team, who  themselves (like Yokohama currently) are juggling playing regular season matches and mid week ACL matches.
While Victory claimed the 3 points in Melbourne just a couple of weeks earlier (see previous pictures and story in this blog), it was against a Yokohama side minus a few of the big guns – Shunsuke Nakamura, Yuji Nakazawa, to name a couple of some of the usual starting XI that missed the trip to Melbourne.
While Coach Higuchi could be questioned for underestimating his opponents in that match, in an ironic copy of Higuchi a couple of weeks earlier, it was Victory’s coach Kevin Muscat who went into the return Yokohama away leg with a few of Victory’s starting XI missing from the line up. It appears squad rotation to compete (or juggle) in both domestic and confederation competitions was high in the minds of both Higuchi and Muscat. While this would normally be cause for concern, as a Victory supporter, time and again over the past couple of years we have seen our younger players step up to take on these challenges and generally perform quite well.
Hence when a couple of Victory supporters got together pre-match for drinks, there was a quite confidence the boys would do us proud.
After the short walk to the Nissan, we were directed around to the visiting supporters end, to find several expats and others there to join us support the Victory. In all about 30 people were in the away supporters area, doing our bit to support the Victory boys.
Now while hearing about away supporters in a Yokohama F. Marinos blog is not what most readers want to hear, but the away end does give you a great view of the Yokohama supporters end. They easily out sung us for volume but their co-ordinated displays were a sight to behold. We dealt with the lack of volume down our end by occasional changing the Tricolore lyrics in their songs to our Victory lyrics we usually sing. We found out later some of the visiting Western Sydney Wanderers fans (who played Kawasaki Frontale the evening before in their Group H ACL match) were there with the Tricolore fans, to sing against us as well. At least they were learning from the best, and according to their social media reports, loved the experience like we did the previous weekend.
But to the game itself, and an early penalty awarded to the Victory saw us go 1-0 up earlier in the first half, but once composed, the Marinos pair of Ito Sho and Nakamachi Kosuke slotted 2 in the back of the onion bag, too have Victory trailing 2-1 at half time. Late in the second half a goal by Hyodo Shingo looked to seal the result for Yokohama, but an extra time goal by Victory’s James Jeggo brought the scoreline back to 3-2.
Unfortunately for the Victory that was all that could be done, as the scoreline finished with Yokohama claiming the win with a 3-2 scoreline. But unfortunately for the F. Marinos, that late goal by Jeggo enabled Victory to keep the better goal difference and hence the 3rd position on the Group G table, with Marinos anchoring the table, but on equal points.
While it is still possible for either of Yokohama or Melbourne to still get a top 2 spot to progress to the knockout round of the ACL, with two rounds left, this is becoming a bigger ask for both our teams.
After the match we slowly made our way around the stadium, catching up with happy (well happier now, than they were on the previous Saturday) F. Marinos fans. We had some Victory stickers to give to some of the kids, my wife was swapping scarfs with some Tricolore girls, and finally we caught up with Brendan, Stuart, Chris, and Han for a few laughs, stories, and eventually a few ales in a restaurant resembling Bruce Wayne’s Bat-Cave.
Unfortunately, being mid week, the following day’s work commitments meant the need to catch the last trains for the night. This is when we had to say our last goodbyes, and express our appreciation for catching up with Brendan, Stuart, Chris, Han, and Daniel. Thanks for all the work that goes into Tricolore Pride, and we hope to return to the Nissan soon to lend our voices to Yokohama F. Marinos, once more.
That was our Yokohama F. Marinos experience – we have seen them 3 times in the last 3 weeks. That’s so cool.

Cheers to all, and best of luck for the rest of the season.

 Brett and family.
DSC_0000 DSC_0001 DSC_0002 DSC_0003 DSC_0004 DSC_0005 DSC_0006 DSC_0007 DSC_0008 DSC_0009 DSC_0010 DSC_0011 DSC_0012 TIV_jvLmDSC_0020 DSC_0021 DSC_0022 DSC_0023 DSC_0024 DSC_0025 DSC_0026Thanks for visiting Brett and family!! Hope you all come and visit again soon! Safe travels!!

 

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One Response to All the way from down under to cheer our boys on!

  1. TonyD says:

    Great write up, Brett, and I’m very jealous of you making the trip! It looks like everyone had a blast, despite the results on the pitch.

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