Making a display of it

23 12 2010

The Jet Set likes a good display as much as the next connoisseur of ultra-dom but we had to think twice when somebody sent us this example on facebook.

The action is taken from an under 12s tournament. At first we thought it was a bit much as the action was taken from a kids tournament. Yes it was impressive, and the ultras had gone to an effort, but it was a bit misplaced. Those kids didn’t need the pressure of all that.

Then we pondered some more and regressed to childhood. I think the Jet Set would have loved such support for Llandudno’s Under 12s in our day. With this support we might not have lost the 1988/’89 League Cup Final, maybe if we hadn’t lost that match the Jet Set would be now thinking about potential testimonial opponents after a glittering playing career in the England, Italy and the Bundesliga. All we needed was a springboard to the stars I tells ya!!! We could have been somebody, we could have been a contender but what did we get? All we got was a one way ticket to Prestatyn…..

Ahem!, back to the clip. The kids playing in it would have probably enjoyed playing in front of such a backdrop. It’s an experience you can embroider anecdotes with for decades to come. But is it good thing or a bad thing  that the Poznan fans made such an effort for a tournament which only has real meaning for the young players in it? While it looks impressive does the clip highlight people who care that little bit too much about football?

In the right context, a European game for example, this amount of effort looks very impressive. The Man City v Lech Poznan match in the Europa League shows the habit the Poznan fans have for making interesting public displays.

Seeing the first clip reminded us of other footage of out of place ultra displays, like this basketball match between Panathanikos and Benetton Treviso for example;

This kind of clip may look strange to British eyes. In mainland Europe multi-sports clubs are common (Remember when Sir John Hall tried a similar thing in Newcastle) and as such a fan of the football sections in these sporting clubs could also be a fan of the Handball, Basketball or Roller Hockey sections as well. It’s probable that the Panathanikos football ultras and basketball ultras are the same people, judging from the fact that the name “Gate 13” features quite prominently in the basketball clip.

It’s a shame this kind of display choreography didn’t develop in Britain but it’s probably a good thing that it doesn’t happen in children’s matches, screaming parents usually make more than enough noise. 

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