VICTORIA – As the inaugural Canadian Premier League (CPL) season continues to inch closer to kick-off, Pacific FC (PFC) caught up with Vancouver Island soccer supporter Ted Godwin to discuss the excitement of the upcoming season and the unique supporters atmosphere created at each Lake Side Buoys-attended match.
Godwin – an avid fan of the beautiful game – began his support of soccer back in 1994 at the end of the FIFA World Cup Finals, which were being hosted in the United States.
“I was getting into the soccer fever with the World Cup,” explained Godwin. “That was when I began watching like mad.”
Fans are well known across Europe for creating supporters groups, such as Vancouver Island’s Lake Side Buoys, that help bring an electric feeling to the stadiums on match days.
Supporters groups, and the sections they inhabit during match days, are one of the most recognizable and unique elements to the sport of soccer around the globe.
The contagious feeling that is created through cheering, drumming and group marches to the stadium is seldom seen in other major sports in North America, and can be the difference between victory or defeat in a closely-fought match.
“Watching all the stuff that was happening in the stands in Belgium, England, and throughout Europe – I wanted a piece of that,” said Godwin. “So, I began supporting the local teams with the support of the Lake Side Buoys. The atmosphere with them has been fantastic right from the start. When we first got together, we were behind the nets and we first realized what we could do and how we could affect the game.
“The absolute best experience, was when a traveling contingent of us, filled a van with six people,” added Godwin. “We went down to Washington State for an away game. We were behind the net and began doing our thing. We had bagpipes, we had drums. The six of us sang louder than the 200 home fans sitting in the stands. It propelled our guys to a huge win, an away win, which was fantastic.”
Godwin pointed out the importance of supporters at the club level and at the national level. A group of Vancouver Island supporters attended a Canada men’s national team match versus Mexico at BC Place.
“We were in a group of 1,000 people, all wearing the same colours, all cheering on the same team, singing the same songs, and having the players react to it and get jazzed from it.”
That supporters’ section at home matches plays a vital role in the overall match experience, both on and off the pitch.
“We know that we’re affecting what is happening on the pitch and we know the players appreciate what we do,” concluded Godwin. “We’re really excited to begin supporting the Canadian Premier League and Pacific FC.”
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