When 12 year-Sydney FC Member Maja Novakovic first sat to watch the Sky Blues at Allianz Stadium in 2007, little did she realise it would change her life.
“I’d sit right at the front, sometimes in the rain with my umbrella behind the coaching bench,” said the 37-year old primary school teacher.
“I just loved it and didn’t care it was raining.”
Maja was coming with her housemate at the time, but soon enough brought her new boyfriend Adrian, 36, who’s now her husband.
“He’s from the mid-North coast and was so excited to be able to come to games.”
Her new hobby was becoming a social event and they were beginning to form new bonds and friendships.
“We’d see the same people each week and we were becoming firm friends, so we decided to get a Membership.”
The group of friends continued to grow with new people arriving in the bay and the two or three originals very quickly became a much larger group.
“We’d see Nancy and Luke and their son Sam each week; then my work colleague Bruce started to come when he got interested in football.
“We met Con and Tina at a Newcastle away game and we ended up sitting in the same bay, while Massimo and his dad sit in front of us too.
“There are around 15 of us now. You don’t really know everyone’s name but we all just sit together,” she continued.
“We want to be together and we just have that camaraderie, even though we don’t see each other outside of Sydney FC.
“I don’t think we’d go to as many away games if we didn’t have those friendships.”
Originally from Blacktown, Maja moved to the Central Coast and now brings her five-year old son Aleksander to games.
“No way was I jumping ship when the Wanderers started,” she said. “I even had someone buy me a Wanderers Membership in secret to try and turn me.
“It was posted to my house but it didn’t work. I still don’t know who it was.
“One of my pupils on the Central Coast saw my Sydney FC sticker on my car and asked if I was a Sydney FC Member and he said ‘Yeah, me too!’”
“He was born in Annandale and we still wear our Sydney FC shirts on jersey days at school.
“I’m pretty vocal at the games, as is my son Aleksander.
“Our group are constantly emailing Shane in Memberships to make sure we can all get our seats and tickets for finals together.
“That will continue at our new stadium too.
“And it doesn’t matter where I live, I’ll always be Sydney Til I Die.”