Sunday, January 9, 2011

Etihad Coming Home: THIS time starring the Sydney Blues!

Regular readers of the blog (all 28 of you) will remember our unsuccessful foray into last year's Etihad Coming Home competition, which offered overseas City fans the opportunity to fly back to Manchester to watch the Derby.

But this year, we've gone one better, and made through to the final ten. Public voting will open next month, and don't worry, we'll definitely let you know when it opens, and we'll hound you for your vote then. In the meantime, check out our entry below, and don't forget to visit us on Facebook ( or Twitter (

"Being a blue is like nothing else.
There's something intangible. Something you can't describe.
You ride every emotion.
The incredible highs. The wonder goals that have you out of your seat and hugging strangers.
The devastating lows. That almost bring you to tears and ruin your week.
Even from 10000 miles away, we support the club like those that live on City's doorstep.
But it just not the same as being there…which is why Gav and I would like to come home…

The Sydney supporters club started off with very humble beginnings, in fact three years ago it was a couple of blokes having a couple of beers in a random pub in Sydney, pleading with the bar staff to turn one of the TVs on to the City game — even if was the one in the corner with no sound.

Through hard work over many months, and by simply turning out at the same venue each week, we began to increase our following.

Two became three. Three became five, and five became ten. Soon, big matches such as the Derby were attracting upwards of forty fans. Some Australian, some ex-pats, some Mancs on holiday, but all part of the City family. We've even managed to get some 'big name' City fans to come down, such as broadcaster Simon Hill and ex- City 'star' Spencer Prior.

Despite being half a world away, we try to bring a little bit of Eastlands to Sydney. Every goal, every missed chance, every injury-time loss — we feel it too.

The Sydney Blues have been recognised on several occasions by the club. We featured had our story published in the Match Programme, we've been on the Official Site in a story about 'Far Away Blues', and our home pub was named as a 'Heart of the City' — one of just eight international venues to be named a safe-havens where City fans can watch matches with like-minded fans wherever they are in the world.

Watching the match on a pub TV is only half the story. We aim to be a proactive supporters club, and spread the Blue Gospel through anyway we can, whether that be through our blog, Facebook, Twitter, or anyway we possibly can. We've been interviewed by FourFourTwo, and appeared on BBC radio — although whether that happens again is unclear, after expressing my disappointment a little too colourfully after losing to Stoke…

We've both made the pilgrimage to Eastlands on previous occasions, but to Come Home with Etihad would be the fulfillment of a dream that's been discussed and poured over many times at Cheers Bar over the past few years.

Over the coming weeks, we'll post some new videos and reasons why we think we we should Come Home to Manchester. But in the meantime, it's a thrill and an honour to even be considered for the prize. Fingers crossed!

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