You've gotta have a Team

Why is having a team to support so Important? Does it really matter? Can we not just get through life watching lots of teams with no real allegiance to any?

If you want to support a football team in England, then most people pick the one your family supports.

By pick, I mean you have no choice, it's thrust upon you from birth, even before birth, as soon as the umbilical cord is off on goes the strip thereby confirming your lifelong affiliation and infatuation with that team.

No matter what happens to the team, support them. You can criticize your side, its not like you work for them. However, you must be willing to follow them wherever they end up.

My team was on the up in 1990 when I really started my obsession with Leeds United at age 6... League Champions in 1992, top 10 finishes in the Premier League 6 out of the 1st 10 seasons, League Cup Finalists, UEFA Cup and Champions League Semi-Finals and a 3rd place finish in the Premier League in 2000 having led the league at the start of the Millennium.

Then the wheels fell off... 2 relegations, administration and 14 years now of exile from England’s top table.

I have cried more over the team than I have any woman and my love for Leeds United knows no boundaries. Weirdly, I seem to forget people, places I’ve been and things that I've seen, but never do I forget Games and Results, nor players whether good or bad.

As mentioned, I have had some good years, and plenty of bad ones, but the joy of supporting a team that isn’t always successful is that you enjoy that success all the more when it happens. It must very boring supporting Chelsea or Manchester United or Arsenal.

If your child doesn’t support a team, then they need too. To some extent this will depend on where you live. But in general, they should support a team that you have a local connection to. This does not necessarily mean that it must be the closest team, but it should be a team from an area that you have a connection to, around here that would be Sydney FC or The Wanderers. The reason for this is that the passion and the love truly develop when you attend games.

Its fine to have “second” teams as well; I like to watch Watford when I can. Why? Because they are my local team and lots of friends and family support them. I also look out for lower league teams in England like Stevenage FC, Wycombe Wanderers and Luton Town as they are local, and I went to University in High Wycombe and I used to coach the Ladies team at Luton Town.

These are all secondary interests though, the only real passion you can have is for your team.

So my argument is this. Go support your local team, but don’t feel ashamed if you also support a team that is hundreds or thousands of miles away from you. In this day and age where we consume entertainment from around the world, we should not be told what we can or cannot do.

We’ll support different teams for different reasons. Those reasons won’t always be because the team is the best. We’re not all glory hunters.

Support whatever teams you want and love them for your own reasons.

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