Imagine getting on a plane, flying for between 2 to 5 hours so that you can go to watch Spurs on TV, in a pub, in the middle of the night – then imagine doing it every year for 14 years and never seeing Spurs win. Sounds mad, well it is, and we do it every year for the OzSpurs National.
OzSpurs started in 2001, it is one supporters club for the whole of Australia. We are organised into local ‘chapters’ in all of the main cities of Australia, such as Sydney and Melbourne. Kick off times are not kind in Australia – 3pm Saturday is 12am Sunday morning down under, however we have good get togethers in our local groups to watch most games.
In 2004 we decided to get everyone together. A group of fresh faced Australian based Spurs fans from all over the country made their way to Perth in Western Australia to watch a game together. They witnessed Tottenham beat Liverpool and so the OzSpurs National was born. There after the National took place every year through to 2014. It was held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and the Gold Coast. For those next 10 Nationals (2005 – 2014) somehow we managed to see some defeats, a lot of draws, but never a Spurs win.
2015 and 2016 brought the very special treat of Spurs coming down to Australia – thousands of Spurs fans gathered first in Sydney and then in Melbourne to see the team in action, understandably no OzSpurs Nationals were held in those years.
2017 saw the return of the National. Adelaide was the host city, and the event took place over weekend of 31 March to 2 April 2017.
A welcome night was held in the Franklin Pub on the Friday night, and an OzSpurs member was the pub’s special DJ. Local patrons were entertained with his normal excellent set, plus a few Chas n Dave tracks thrown in for good measure.
Game day was a long day.
We met up at the pub twelve and half hours prior to kick off! It was all aboard a London double decker bus (renamed the OzSpurs Express for the day) for a tour of the historic pubs of the Adelaide coast line. We got more that a few people watching on in amazement as the bus, decked out in Spurs colours and full of 55 noisy Spurs fans, made its way out to the coast. We took in 5 ‘historic’ pubs – not sure how much history was studied, but we certainly had a good time.
Once we were back in the city people made their way off to find dinner and further refreshment before the game – now only a short 6 hours until kick off!
Our chosen venue for the night, the ‘Bunker Bar’ started to fill up from 10.30pm – 2 hours until kick off and counting. Here started the in depth tactical analysis of the up coming game; after 10 hours mainly spent in pubs it was time to share serious and well thought out game plans that Pochettino would have been proud of (ok,ok, may Christian Gross).
Finally at 12.30am Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur was underway. The first half saw both teams cancel each-other out; by half time the collective opinion in Adelaide was along the lines of ‘not again’ and ‘curse of the National’. The second half was a different game – Spurs upped the tempo. 10,000 miles away at 1.30am in Adelaide the energy levels also rose. Finally, after 14 long years we saw Dier and Son score for Spurs to secure a 0 – 2 win, the ‘curse’ of the OzSpurs National well and truely over.
Sunday started a bit quieter. The OzSpurs AGM was held, and then it was off down the park to see who could beat Hugo Lloris in a penalty challenge. We had a full sized goal occupied by three massive (and very sturdy) life size cut outs of Hugo. Considering the marathon efforts of the day before, the fact that our participants managed to run five tight circles round a bollard before taking each shot showed the tip top physical condition of the group. Some amazing and not so amazing skills were on display. It proved a tough challenge with Hugo keeping out 32 of the 50 penalties taken.
That pretty much wrapped up the National, a few hardy souls carried on seeking further refreshments late into the night. The flights home the next day saw a few catching up on some much needed sleep.
Over the course of the weekend OzSpurs raised over $1,000 for Australian charity FootballUnited.org.au.
The 2018 OzSpurs National will take place in Brisbane – dates to be announced once the fixture list is confirmed.