Mobile is a port city. A city of different cultures. A city of distinct identities. A city of disparate ideals. However, for ninety minutes on Saturdays, the people in Mobile gather together to cheer on their team. They become one voice with one cause. All of this grown from one idea: community.
In this Fan Reaction, supporter Stephanie Ward talks about how the club and its fans have become another family to her.
As fans we wanted more. We wanted something to call our own.
When I was asked to share my feelings about AFC I immediately said yes! I’m excited to write about one of the things I feel very passionately about. Soccer in general holds a special place in my heart. I was first introduced to the game when I traveled to Germany in 1989 as an exchange student. I fell in love immediately.
My boys played soccer when they were young and when I was dating my husband he would come out to practices and games. He knew nothing about the sport but quickly learned and even started doing a little assistant coaching at the YMCA. We had friends who played in the adult league at Sage Park where my husband eventually got a spot on a team. I would get several of my friends on Sundays and we would go out and watch him play. We would make a day of it…watching several teams.
As we both got more involved with the local soccer scene we discovered a group of fans who would gather at a local pub to watch the World Cup. Eventually the Crazy 88s, our local AO chapter, was born. We would get together and watch the US play any chance we could. Some of those same people also gather early on Saturday mornings to watch Premier League soccer.
As fans we wanted more. We wanted something to call our own. A group of very dedicated and diligent people worked tirelessly to finally bring us AFC! Yes! We now have our very own team, representing our great city, to support. I remember as the first home game approached, I was a little nervous that attendance would be low. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked around to see the stands almost full. We broke attendance records with the Gulf Coast Premier League that weekend. I cannot put into words to how much pride I felt for our new team.
So, what does AFC mean to me? The first thing that comes to mind is family. We gather together before the games to eat and celebrate. We gather together at the games and sing our songs and cheer with one voice. We know the players by name and a lot of them have taken the time to get to know us. It kind of feels like we all have this wonderful adoptive child that we love and want to protect.
I can hardly wait until next season! I know our family will continue to grow and break records. I’m so proud of what AFC has done so far and I’m looking forward to what they will do in 2018! As we say in the Rebellion…. Always Mobile Always Home!!