What made you start supporting Melbourne Victory?
When the A-League was formed back in 2005, it gave me a team to support that I felt would be representing myself and the rest of Victoria. It was the perfect opportunity to jump on board with the team and league at the ground level. Prior to 2005, I had a vague interest in the NSL, but never really felt there was a team that represented me. I was living in Ballarat at the time, and had no connection to any of the current clubs.
Who is your favourite player, past and present?
Archie Thompson, without a doubt. He's been our marquee player since day one, and is one of the true legends of our club so far. You can just see how much passion he has for the club while he's out there and he's the kind of player that you know will always be giving 100%. Kevin Muscat a very close second - the leadership he showed whilst playing is still sorely missed two seasons after retiring.
What is your favourite Victory goal?
James Robinson's goal in the second leg of the 2006-07 Major Semi Final. We had drawn the away leg 0-0 the week prior, and conceded an early away goal in the second leg. We equalised early in the second half with a cracker from Danny Allsopp, but struggled for the all-important winner for the rest of the game. We were currently down on away goals.
Step up - James Robinson. It was well into injury time and we won a free kick about 30 yards out near the sideline. James Robinson (who had never scored a goal prior, and had rarely made an appearance) was left all alone at the far post and scored one of the slowest looping headers back over the keeper that you'll ever see.
I was in the North Terrace directly behind the goal, and can still remember how it felt as the ball was in mid-air for an eternity.
When the ball dropped in, that was by far the craziest and most amazing celebration I've been a part of at a sporting event. I don't think I've ever hugged as many people I've never met as I did in those few minutes.
Robinson soon left the club but that goal ensures he'll be long remembered in Melbourne. It was a huge goal in the short history of the club; as it meant we hosted the Grand Final two weeks later in front of 55,000 and went on to destroy Adelaide United 6-0 thanks to a solid 5 goals from Archie Thompson.
What is the fan culture like for Melbourne Victory?
We're one of the few A-League clubs who has two very active home ends. We have the North Terrace, which has a very South American/European style of support (flags, drums, displays etc), and the South Terrace, which is generally an English style of support consisting more of singing in a far less structured environment. This has made for an amazing atmosphere at our home matches and resulted in us setting the bar for active support in the league.
Our supporters went through a lot of issues in our early years (and still do in recent times) in regards to supporter rights. People have spent months fighting for each individual concession, ranging from things as simple as flags and drums, right up to crowd displays.
Are there any particular Victory songs or chants that are prevalent at games?
Something Melbourne fans pride themselves on is bringing unique songs and chants to the league that haven't been done elsewhere. One particular highlight is a chant we have that incorporates all four stands at the match.
This was a new high for the league (and the majority of Australian sport), as we were the first team to really get 100% of the crowd involved. We don't have a song in the way of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' but that's something that would need to naturally come about over time.
The singing and atmosphere created by the crowds is something really unique to football in Australia, and is a huge part of people attending games. I've been to Melbourne matches with non-football people who leave the game in awe of the atmosphere created.
How does it make you feel that Victory will be up against a team like Liverpool FC?
It's going to be amazing. When we heard rumours a few months back that Liverpool were planning their first tour to Australia and that Melbourne would be a possible host, it felt too good to be true.
Staying up all night losing countless hours of sleep watching the likes of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez play each week is great but to then find out you'll be seeing them liveagainst your local team at one of the best sporting arenas in the world, it's going to be amazing. Although I get slightly worried at the thought of Luis Suarez tearing apart our defence!
Melbourne has had friendlies against the likes of Olympiacos, Fulham, Celtic and Juventus in previous years, but this just takes it to another level for the league (and country) as a whole. This is the kind of event that other sports in Australia just can't offer. There's only a couple of times a year that the MCG sells out, and to be there to see my two football teams go head to head in front of a 90,000 crowd... I can't wait.