Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A winter's night in Leichhardt

If you haven't been following the news lately, you may not know that there's been a few games of football going on in Germany. Australia's team made the second final series but lost out last night to Italy.

Last night I was one of the 20,000 fool hardy to watch the game in Leichhardt on a cold winter night in a closed off Norton Street, the little-Italy of Sydney. (I'm going to get some nice photos there one day). It was a good night, no alcohol but the baristas at the mobile coffee stands were doing a roaring trade.

There was a large base of Italian supporters in the Azzuri of the Italian football team. Young guys mostly who were cheerful and very rowdy. Air horns, whistles, drums and a few firecrackers and flares. Their girlfriends were mostly dolled up wanting nothing to do with such silliness.

This report from the New Zealand Herald

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of football fans turned out all across Australia in the early hours of this morning to watch the Socceroos' heart-breaking World Cup exit.
Sydney had the largest gatherings.

There was a huge turnout in Leichhardt in Sydney's inner west - the home of the city's Italian community - where ABC Radio today reported 20,000 fans packed into Norton Street.

Rowdy Italian fans let off flares and hugged each other when the winning goal was scored, while despondent Australians skulked home after the game.
The crowds, meanwhile, were so big at Circular Quay that police were forced to ask late-arriving fans to go elsewhere.

The crowds had begun partying hours before the game began, intent on celebrating Australia's advance to a second round berth that few predicted before the tournament began in Germany.

In Norton Street, they crammed every vantage point to watch the game on a 10-metre screen, with those unable to find a spot at street level perching on balconies and shop roofs.

Couple of things I noticed.....
  1. I was one of the older member in a mainly young crowd.
  2. I was one of the taller people in a short crowd, probably the tallest. It was funny looking across and waving to other tall dudes.
  3. The smell of the flare's smoke that permeated my clothes was worse than any cigarette smoke smell I've had from a smoky bar
  4. Cafe lattes taste so much better in the cold.
  5. My neck was aching for ages after looking at the big screen for almost two hours.
  6. Italian women are something else.


  • what a lousy call on that foul at the end. of course I didn't think the italian should have been red carded earlier...but still.

    Ghana-Brazil in 20 minutes here. Should be a rockin good game. The Swiss-Ukrain game was brutal. Should have booted both teams from the tourney.

    By Anonymous moff, at 12:47 am  

  • Yeah Moff....WE WUZ ROBBED.

    Italian footbal conspiracies are nothing compared to the Australian ones.

    My tip, watch the Argentinians!

    By Blogger Johnno, at 7:14 am  

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