Meet our 2016/17 Members - Paul Ryan

With Adelaide United Memberships for the 2016/17 season now on sale, we’re highlighting some of the first Reds fans to sign up!

When did you start supporting the Reds?
I started following AUFC when the A-League commenced. I grew up playing football in Whyalla, and wanted to follow our South Australian team. I had also been a Liverpool supporter since I was a kid, so being a ‘red’ team helped.

What made you fall in love with the club and what made you become a member?
My daughters started playing football a few years ago, and a mate (who had been going for a few years) was also in the same situation. Bringing the kids to the match was something that we enjoyed. When Josep Gombau brought his level of passion to the team the year before last was when I really became invested in the club. I soon realised my weekend could be made good or bad by the result; I was hooked. I also think this was the first period when I really experienced Coopers at its best.

How long have you been a member of AUFC?
I’m now in my third, full-season as a member. I moved back to SA in 2006, but didn’t really get a lot of chances to make it to matches with my young family. Then my girls were old enough to start attending more than the odd game here and there. Unfortunately their interest has waned somewhat as their interests diverged.  

We know we have many dedicated Reds Members, but there are few who would dye their hair and beard red to honour us - Paul Ryan is one of those!

What was your favourite memory from a Red’s Match? 
The Grand Final was up there, obviously, but two other games stand out for me this year.

The game against Central Coast Mariners in March – we came from behind and to me that was the game which showed that this team had the capacity to go all the way. The belief in the team was there and the feeling that something special was happening before us was emerging. I remember turning to my mate, Barry, and stating: “this team has got something special!”

Then the Semi Final against Melbourne City – the Coopers crowd, the quality of the play, and the knowledge the team was going to the Grand Final when Dylan McGowan scored! I was due to be flying to Bali on Grand Final Day (having booked back early in the season without realising the dates!). Within minutes of the final whistle I was on the phone to my wife who without hesitation agreed for me to move the flight booking – all up my Grand Final ticket cost about $170 extra. I had also made the promise to dye my hair and beard red if we made it to the Grand Final… which I did! 

What would you say to anyone thinking about being a becoming a member? 
Go for it. Some people I know question the quality of A-League, say versus watching the English Premier League etc, but for me it is the local connection that matters. When Coopers is buzzing and the team is showing heart, there is nowhere better to be a Reds fan. And when 50,000 turn up and make Adelaide Oval rock as loud as any match, you know there is something special going on. We may not win another Premiership or Grand Final for a while (ah, who’s kidding… can’t wait for two in a row!), but football, and the Reds, can bring an experience that’s worth waiting for.

And by the way – my holiday in Bali was topped off with a tattoo commemorating the season!

We know we have many dedicated Reds Members, but there are few who would dye their hair and beard red to honour us - Paul Ryan is one of those!