The great Jock Stein played his part in changing the face of football. The legendary manager was famously quoted as saying, “football without the fans is nothing” how right he was!
Here at 90 Minute Cynic, we want to reinforce the great mans words and give the games most important people, the fans, their say.
Today we speak to Alex McDermott who is an Aussie living in L.A. Follow her on Twitter @alex_mcd93
What team do you support?
Celtic Football Club
What’s your first memory of “going to the football”?
My first memory was as a kid going to see my Dad play every weekend with my Grandpa.
How often do you get to see your team?
I watch most games live using Celtic TV/Channel 67 if the kick off time allows me. I have seen a couple of preseason games when Celtic have travelled to Australia but I have only been to one Celtic league game in 2004. We managed to grab tickets in the away end at the Dundee United v Celtic game. It was a 3-0 win with all the goals scored right in front of us. An amazing day!
Being a Celtic fan living in L.A what’s your usual routine for getting to see games?
Luckily the time difference in LA allows me to watch a lot more games than when I was home in Sydney. Most of the games end up being a 7am Saturday kick off. I’ll put on Celtic TV and watch the game while having breakfast. The Champions League/Europa games during the week are great because they usually fall around 12pm. There are a ton of British pubs in LA so I’ll try to get to a pub to watch the game with a few drinks and socialise.
What are you most excited about for the new season?
Signing Brendan Rodgers as the new manager was an amazing achievement! After Delia’s first season I think we were all expecting the team the kick on, get back into the Champion’s league and win the domestic trophies comfortably. Unfortunately, the season didn’t go as planned. I’m hoping this season we will see a smaller, fit squad that are mentally tough enough to perform in the big games and hopefully European football.
Do you buy club merchandise from official club outlets if not why not?
My family have always bought official club merchandise from the Celtic store. Currency exchange and international shipping costs mean it’s going to be pretty expensive no matter where you buy it so we may as well use the clubs official store. My mum uses the online Celtic store a lot for Christmas presents for my Grandpa/Dad
Do you think your club could be doing more to “connect” with fans?
Recently the club’s social media has definitely improved but I still think Celtic TV could do more. Growing up in Australia and supporting Celtic, we depend on Celtic TV for coverage of the games so I’d love to see them do more to engage with those international fans that miss out on a lot of content living outside Scotland. I guess that’s why there are so many more podcasts/blogs these days because they provide the content an official club site won’t.
Now that Celtic have introduced a standing area at Celtic Park how successful do you think this will be and are you in favour of reintroducing standing areas at stadiums?
The standing area will be viewed as a test for other clubs so there will be a lot of pressure to get it right. Obviously the biggest issue is safety. How the stewards deal with the fans in the standing section and the security they provide will be heavily scrutinized. The introduction shows a strong connection with the wants and needs of the fans that pushed for the area to be reintroduced. It’ll provide a great atmosphere at Celtic Park. I’m excited to see how to goes, I only hope it’ll be a safe, controlled environment.
Do you play at any level?
No, I wasn’t allowed. I was going to be a dancer so my mum refused to let me play because it was ‘too rough’.
If so what do you think of the cost of playing?
Definitely a lot less than doing dance 6 days a week!
If you could implement one thing for the good of the game what would it be?
Salary caps. There is so much money in football these days that the only way smaller leagues/teams will be able to compete is restricting how much bigger clubs can spend on a player. Many Australian codes have salary caps and it makes the leagues more competitive. It might bring a bit more loyalty between players and clubs back into the game as well.
Favourite moment following your team?
Probably the Barcelona game. Dad and I woke up at about 4.30am, turned on ESPN and watched it live. Best 4am start I’ve ever had.
Favourite football moment not featuring your team?
Seeing the Socceroos reach the World Cup in 2006 for the first time in 30 years.
If you could have been at any game in history what would it be?
The 2003 Cup Final in Seville
The thing that annoys you most about football?
No video referees. Referees have to make many hard decisions throughout the 90 minutes and sometimes they don’t always make the right decision. I think there needs to be a video referee that can be called on to quickly look at the footage and advise on what decision should be made. Wrong decisions can cost team’s finals, trophies and sometimes trebles.
What do you think of the transfer window? Should it stay or should clubs be allowed to buy at any point of the season?
I like the transfer window. I think it creates an even playing field for smaller clubs. Otherwise big clubs would continue to buy all the best players throughout the season.
What makes your club so special?
I love that my club has fans that live all over the world. Living in Australia and LA I have met people that I never would have known if it wasn’t for our common love of Celtic. Connecting with people by listening to podcasts, being part of the fan base on twitter and going to pubs to watch games, it makes you feel part of something special.
And finally, what’s your favourite biscuit?
Tim-Tams. Probably the greatest thing to come out of Australia
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