Never be alone in the Cove

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Writing this on Valentine’s Day evening, I’d guess you’d probably be single if you’re reading this fresh off the press … Not to worry, especially on a Saturday night.

If you don’t have a special someone, you have the Tribe. This display of solidarity calls itself the Cove, presumably after Sydney Cove, or potentially also for the fact that they occupy the section directly behind the goal. And they occupy it all season round, I’m told, booking out this particular section of seats for every game in Sydney Football Stadium en masse before the season starts.

What do they do? Just like any football fan Tribe, they dedicate time and craftsmanship for their banners. They have their own songs, led by a conductor-like man with a loudspeaker, without stopping all match. Part of their repertoire is a call and response section we do with them, as they do with the rest of the stadium. And for their goal celebration … they make it rain beer. Something unthinkable at most other sporting events in Australia – but that’s culture.

As of 2015 the A-League is only a decade old. But this short time does not make this brotherhood weaker by any means, which, boosted by a strong Balkan and Mediterranean community, have given the camaraderie of football a unique take inspired by its original European and Latino fan traditions. In this Tribe, no member is alone.

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