My 5 years without an away win: A cautionary tale

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1603 days. World Wars have been fought in less time. Entertainers have risen like meteors, made unfathomable amounts of cash, ingested piles of cocaine so high that they needed their own ski-lift and filed for bankruptcy in shorter periods than that – who the hell are “Ace of Base? Even my own worst droughts of scoring on and off the pitch have never lasted so long. 

It is of course 1603 days since I have travelled to an away win involving my football club. That’s getting close to five years!

You have to go as far back to 31 October 2008 when Adelaide lost 2-3 at Hindmarsh to Melbourne for an away win that I witnessed. And even then Victory come from behind twice.

Since then I have spent $7500 (or more accurately about 56% of my income as a university student) to have the privilege of watching seven losses and this weekend, by far the worst result of them all, a draw.

So sit back and smile at how I have managed to rack up almost five years of ineptitude where in that time Melbourne Victory have won outside Victoria 17 times. The things you do for the club you love.
1.       29 January 2010 – Gold Coast 1-0 Victory
In front of no home fans (as was Gold Coast’s custom) Zenon Caravella knocked in his only goal in 51 games for GCU, and one of only two in his 102 A-League games to date. Earlier in the season Victory had beaten them 3-2 away and 4-0 at home and this was the year where they won seven games away from home.
Jaegerbombs consumed pre-game: 10
Cost: $2000 (at least Surfers Paradise treated me well. Jupiters, speak to me.)
2.       11 February 2011 – Adelaide 2-1 Victory – Glimmers of coins at terminal velocity
A 20 hour drinking session the night before precluded us from “fully hektik shenanigans” whilst Melbourne concluded the season and our vibe with a comfy 2-1 loss with a 78th minute Travis Dodd winner. The main success was the riches I came away with from the Adelaide Oval as Reds fans showered the travelling away support with coins of all denomination – up to $2! The trip was saved by Red Square’s Smirnoff corporate party. Glamour.
Jaegerbombs: 4
Cost: $800
3.       14 October 2011 – Adelaide 1-0 Victory – Fabio forgets which team he plays for
This one is a rival for worst trip ever. Driving from Victoria, the crew of five left at 6am to arrive a little bit before the game. We have a quick smash of the beverages before a trundle to the game. Victory get up to nothing, Fabio passes it from left back to Sergio Van Dijk who says: “LOL” and smashes it home. Jump back in car at 10pm and drive the WHOLE WAY HOME so members of the party including myself can play a silly summer sport. Losses all round there too.
Jaegerbombs: 6   
Cost: $300
4.       31 December 2011 – Brisbane 3-1 Victory – A 12 minute storm
A crew of ten drove to Brisbane and Gosford as an Eastern Seaboard tour for Victory was supposed to be a good idea. Well lubricated, it looked good at 1-0 after 43 minutes before a 12 minute period of delightful footy put the game away from us. To be fair, due to it being New Years Eve, all were too drunk to care. Fortitude Valley came up a winner economically.
Jaegerbombs: 13+  
Cost: Combined figure mentioned below
5.       4 January 2012 – Central Coast 2-0 Melbourne Victory – No chance
Weary from eight days of driving with nine other blokes, this game also makes the podium for worst ever. Matt Simon, in his last game before phantoming off overseas scored after one minute and that was the game. A side with Foschini and Franjic in the back was never going to work out. Game concluded with near punch-ons between friends and one guy going missing and ending up 35km up the road in Newcastle.
Jaegerbombs: 10
Cost: (including Brisbane) $2000

6.       7 December 2012 – Adelaide 4-2 Victory – The Hong Kong Betting Game
After going over positively on a plane, Victory were down 1-0 after three minutes and then 4-1 after 32. When Kostopoulos scores a double you can probably consider yourself unlucky. Fortunately the post-game performance was better and a 4am session at “The Woolshed” was a decent temporary tonic before a 7am flight followed by another game of cricket which ended up being a five hour sunburn session chasing leather in 36 degree heat. Treated.
Jaegerbombs: 10  
Cost: $400
7.       1 January 2013 – Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 Victory – Who Do You Sing For?
To be fair, this trip was once again all about New Years Eve. So, hungover, expecting to get thrashed and stabbed we rolled up to Parramatta. Unfortunately Shinji Ono turned up in his Dennis Bergkamp costume and spanked the boys in blue single-handedly. We were privileged to witness Dilevski’s only contribution to Australian football, a nice goal from outside the box. Cue frightening 2km walk back to hotel.
Jaegerbombs: 10 
Cost: $1500
8.       16 March 2013 – Sydney FC 1-1 Victory – The worst EVER
“You got a point, what are you complaining about?”  WERE YOU THERE? DID YOU SEE THE GAME? DO YOU WANT ME TO KILL YOU? Oh, sorry, got a bit carried away there. After 1600 odd days, when you get up early to a 1-0 lead, spend 82 minutes in the lead, survive 10 free kick chances and a missed penalty from Alessandro Del Piero and have 500 one-on-one chances to put the game away, an 85th minute equaliser and subsequent draw is hard to take. Head in hands, it almost drew a tear, almost.
Jaegerbombs: 13  
Cost: $500
So there you have it. 1603 days and counting. If you are a Western Sydney Wanderers or Central Coast Mariners fan you can rest easy if you have to face Melbourne Victory in a final. I am too selfish to stop going to these away trips as an optimistic pessimist.

I hope that we will finally win away with me present, but it doesn’t look likely. So if you see me in the crowd this Finals Series, start smiling and spread the word, because you are going to the next round.

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Kyle Chandler
Despite having robbed Leigh Broxham of the ball in Year 10 inter-school soccer Kyle is still a twenty-something awaiting take-off on an illustrious footballing career. In the meantime he can be found bashing his head against a wall watching Arsenal and Melbourne Victory pass the ball sideways and being a pest on Twitter.

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