When the Socceroos took on Japan in their World Cup qualifier in Tokyo recently, representatives of HMAS Sydney (IV) were there and in top form, determined that the boys from Down Under would not have to take to the field without sounds of ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi’ to spur them on.
It all came about when POMT Ty Davis, a mad keen soccer fan, realised that his ship, HMAS Sydney, would be along side in Yokosuka, Japan, when this much anticipated game took place. However, his excitement soon turned to disappointment when he learned that it was already a sell-out.
“I wasn’t going to give up that easily,” PO Davis said. “So I took a chance and emailed Football Federation Australia asking how I could secure some tickets for myself and a few of my shipmates. I nearly fell off my chair when I received a reply from the General Manager that same day, saying he would try to organise us some tickets.”
PO Davis received a second email from the General Manager offering the ship ten complementary tickets for the Australian fan’s section of the stadium ‘due to the loyal service we are providing to our country’.
The group of Aussie soccer fans set off by train from Yokosuka station and arrived in good time to soak up the atmosphere at the stadium.
“Meanwhile, LCDR Mark Stone-Tolcher (MEO) and I went to the hotel where the Socceroos were staying to collect our tickets. While we were there we presented the team’s General Manager with Sydney’s crest,” PO Davis said.
“The game was a sell out and we had some of the best seats in the stadium, behind the goals and right on the fence.”
The Sydney boys made many friends, both Australian and Japanese, and had a great time, particularly as the final score was one-all, assisting Australia’s World Cup cause.
“The following day ABSN Peter Craig and I were invited back to the Socceroos hotel to meet the team. We got to shake the hands of each of them and chatted about the game.”
HMAS Sydney is currently embedded in the United States Navy’s 7th Fleet George Washington Carrier Strike Group that is stationed at Yokosuka, Japan. The ship sailed from her home port of Fleet Base East, in Sydney, Australia on 22nd April 2013 and will be away for about 5 months.