“The name in front is more important than the name on the back.” A quote from Erik Dornhelm, Newcastle United’s fictional manager from the movie Goal: The Dream Begins.
This line emphasizes one of the most important aspects of football. It doesn’t just stress the importance of teamwork, but it also stresses the true value of the crest on their chests.
The club will always be above any player.
But it’s sad to say that here in the Philippines, with our idol culture in sports, we tend to see personalities than teams. We see the players that make the team, not the team that brought them together.
Let’s not generalize the whole Philippine sports community, shall we? Although not many, there’s still a number of us who knows that the team will always be the big picture. And that the players just come and go. Some leave as legends. Some leave as villains. And others? They just leave. One thing is for sure, they leave.
So why are we talking about this?
Due to some developments in our local football scene, old giants came and left as new contenders rise from their ashes. And to be honest, that’s all well and good. But one thing that really got my attention was how they were asking that we support their new club.
Did I understand this right? Are we being asked to switch allegiances because we supported them while they were playing for our clubs? Let this be a wake-up call to both casual supporters and the new teams: it shouldn’t be this way.
Yes. We are too young as a football nation (considering that we were the oldest football federation in Asia). Football has just started its ascent into becoming a household staple. But that’s the beauty of football, it comes with an undeniable culture that the whole world shares.
And that, my friends, is the culture of belonging. We belong to our clubs as our clubs belong to us. We don’t just support clubs because of who and who. We support them because they embody us. Their victory is our victory. And their defeats are our defeats.
We feel that every time they move forward, so do we. And that’s just exactly what some of us need. That little inspiration to drive us forward despite everything that’s going wrong with the world.
And this exact culture is what brought about our love for football. Yes, the starting reasons for supporting a club are petty sometimes. But the longer you stay, the longer you start feeling the passion for this team.
This feeling is what we want to feel within our local clubs. We want to feel that we belong with them. We want to feel that connection, whether through the city they represent, or the aura they embody, or what we feel when they step into that green battlefield.
That’s how clubs get their supporters. They need to make this irresistible atmosphere where your supporters would belong.
More than players, more than records, it’s where we belong.