'Indescribable emotion': Caltex Socceroos supporter on next-gen fans
After experiencing the unforgettable 2005 Uruguay qualifier, Caltex Socceroos fan Matt Hope will be there next Wednesday night – this time with an addition to his family.
Matt was part of the mayhem 12 years ago as John Aloisi’s penalty at Stadium Australia sealed the Socceroos’ first World Cup appearance in 32 years.
He was literally hurled forward over the top of fans by a surging crowd to fall on another fan who simply hugged him.
It was that sort of night.
Strangers embraced, they cried and the nation was brought together by our band of brave brothers in green and gold in a way that has never been forgotten.
Next Wednesday night, 12 years on, Matt will be back.
And this time, he’ll bring a new family member as the Australians’ World Cup qualification reaches its ultimate hurdle against Honduras.
“I’ll bring my six year old son. This is his turn to hopefully live through that emotion, the ecstasy that I felt,” Matt told www.socceroos.com.au
“My son was at the Syria game and he had tears in his eyes.
“And if we got through next Wednesday it’ll be one of those moments that I can say I shared with my son for the next generation of Socceroos fans. And that’s what it’s about.
“We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve lived through an era where the national team has been very successful and once you’ve tasted that success at our age, it’s something you want our future generations to not only feel and to live through, as they go on over the next years as we battle to make future World Cups.
“We want this to be a regular thing that our Socceroos try to make a World Cup and then there’s a month of expectation at the tournament and what may happen.”
And make no mistake, the players will feel the fans’ energy. It’ll give them extra energy.
It’s vital, implores Matt, to ensure each and every fan leaves the stadium with no voice left.
If you're hoarse the next day at work, you'll know you did everything you could for your nation.
“This is do-or-die. This is a chance to not only replicate what happened 12 years ago [against Uruguay] where a whole nation held its breath, but for a whole new generation of fans to make a difference and make as much noise as possible, and to cheer wildly for our Socceroos and help get us over the line.
“It’ll be a monumental game that could send us to another World Cup. It’d be huge.
“It’s the anticipation leading up to kick off at 8pm on Wednesday night. It’ll be indescribable.
“Whether you’re at school or at work wearing our Socceroos shirts, heading in on the bus, walking in, the team warm up, that sense of anticipation over what’ll happen over the course of 90 minutes and potentially more of football, it’s something you cannot describe.
“It’s not the same as watching it on TV, you have to be there live – knowing your cheering and support contributed to hopefully what will be a successful night.
“It’s indescribable the emotion and how it’ll feel if we qualified."