Brooksy's Bit: Going to the game

PASSIONATE Mariners supporter Bob Brooks believes getting to a game is part of the lure of being a football fan.

AS game day approaches all fans are anticipating sitting on the terraces cheering on their favourites. However travelling there can be exciting in itself. We may walk, go on the train, get in the car, clamber on board a bus or fly from and to a strange airport. No matter how fans get to the game it has its own excitement. Not sure if many use ferries as their means of transport.

We check our bags to ensure we have our tickets, supporter-s scarves, hats, maybe a waterproof and whatever refreshments and nibbles our accompanying children may want - but do they really need them? As we approach the stadium the crowds are building. There may be chanting from small groups. Our bags are checked and we go through the turn styles - we are here! Now to find our seats and say ‘G-day- to our fellow fans. The teams are announced and displayed on the now obligatory big screen (how did we manage before such modern wonders?). The referees lead out the teams to cheering and applause - for the players not the Refs! The opponents line up, the referee blows the whistle and we-re involved in a three dimensional, real life drama acted out right there in front of us. Graham Arnold says that the crowd cheering and support is a vital part of the teams- performance on the field.

It is very nice to watch a European Champions League game live on SBS but wouldn-t it be great to be there. What must it have been like for former Mariners midfielder Mustafa Amini sitting on the bench for Borrusia Dortmund the other day - he really was in the thick of it. He didn-t get on the field but with Barcelona keen on Mario Gotze an attacking midfielder Mussi-s chance may come sooner that expected. What about Mat Ryan in goal all 90 minutes for the Socceroos against North Korea in the East Asian Cup.

To gain full international experience at such a young age is amazing. We who have watched him mature and perform over the last two seasons never doubted that one day international recognition would come his way. Ryan-s fellow Mariner, Tomas Rogic, came on as a second half substitute against Hong Kong and also from the bench to oppose North Korea. Overseas clubs must have both Ryan and Rogic in their sights.