Fans in Vans – a football adventure

by Neil Sherwin

Eleven days, eight football fans, five games and 5500 kilometres.

With the A-League season kicking off this weekend, a group of fans are set to embark on a ‘Fans in Vans’ journey which is the first of its kind thanks to Footy Fans Down Under (FFDU).

FFDU is the brainchild of Lee Sutherland, an English ex-pat living in Sydney who has a huge passion for all things football. Since its inception, FFDU has organised a number events including the hugely successful Fan Awards which took place in June. Attending that particular event were the likes of FourFourTwo magazine and television broadcaster SBS, while Everton and Socceroos star Tim Cahill was on hand to accept his award for Overseas Australian Footballer of the Year.

Now FFDU has come up with another exciting concept which will hopefully become a regular thing. Beginning on Thursday, October 6 in Sydney, eight football fans will fill two camper vans which will cover most of Australia’s east coast before finishing in Melbourne on Monday, October 17. The Fans in Vans tour will initially take in two A-League games in round one of the season. The firstof those is a rematch of last year’s Grand Final with Brisbane Roar going head to head with Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night and the next day the party heads to the heads to the Gold Coast where Wellington Phoenix will pay a visit to Skilled Park.

With the first weekend of action complete, Fans in Vans will make the 12 hour journey south to Sydney and once there, the group will attend Australia’s World Cup qualifier against Oman on Tuesday, October 11. After that it’s on to the Central Coast and a visit to the Mariners amongst other things.

Another long journey to South Australia in time to take in Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory in round two’s biggest game. After that it’s back to the Victorian capital to take in the game between Melbourne Heart and Perth Glory on Sunday, October 17.

With plenty of other fun activities involved and some fantastic sponsors on board, the trip promises to be an excellent one. The A-League is getting some serious promotion ahead of the season with the ‘We Are Football’ campaign, and the Fans in Vans trip is seen as another way to raise awareness about the Australian match going public.

You can keep an eye on the adventures of the Fans in Vans crew, which includes BackPageFootball co-editor Neil Sherwin, by following the #fansinvans hashtag in Twitter and also by checking out the FFDU website.

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