“No matter what happens this season, we’re happy to be back in the stands”, Bengaluru FC fans on returning to the stadium after two years

After being played behind closed doors for two years, the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) has welcomed fans back into the stands this season.

The reception for teams across the various cities has been loud and passionate, embodying the spirit of the Hero Indian Super League and adding to the experience.

One of the contingents who had missed out on the stadium experience over the last two years were the West Block Blues, Bengaluru FC’s fan club. While the team have picked up only one point from their last four games following up the Durand Cup title with a shaky start, their passionate fans are not giving up.

“Coming back after two years was special and a festive atmosphere engulfed the stadium as we won that game,” said Rakesh Haridas, a member of the West Block Blues. “It is everything. Ask any football fan and they will give you the same answer – it is everything to see your team play live. That’s what we live for. It is incomparable. No matter what happens this season, we’re happy to be back in the stands and supporting our team. The rest is secondary, and it doesn’t matter.”

The West Block Blues are among the most vociferous fan groups in the country and have turned out in numbers during both of Bengaluru FC’s home games so far this season. In the latest game, against East Bengal FC, Bengaluru FC fell to their third straight defeat of the season and only their fifth ever at home. The supporters in the stadium didn’t quieten down till the final whistle, which has long been a feature of the Hero ISL. After the match, Sunil Chhetri tweeted out an apology to the fans and asked them to keep the faith, and the fans are showing no signs of losing it.

Bengaluru FCSupporters during match 28 of the HERO INDIAN SUPER LEAGUE 2022 played between Bengaluru FC and East Bengal FC at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru in India on 11th November 2022. Photo: Shibu Preman /Focus Sports/ ISL

“No matter what happens, whether we win or lose, we stand with our team. That is the West Block Blues’ philosophy. It is just to be loud for 90 minutes without worrying about what is happening,” said Haridas. “We have always told him [Sunil Chhetri] and the team that our support for them is absolute. That does not change. It was a frustrating loss last time around, but it is what it is. It could have gone either way.”

In an effort to bring more passionate supporters to the stadiums, the Hero ISL has introduced a weekend-friendly format this season and Haridas said it has helped to keep the stands full during the new season.

“The weekend games are always better. It doesn’t clash with other leagues and family time. We are encouraging people to have family time at the stadium. Once you show anyone live football, there’s no going back. Everyone who has come to the stadium knows this,” Haridas said. “The football craze exists in all cities and the weekend fixtures will help the fan base grow in all these cities. No team wants to play in an empty stadium. As long as the stadiums are full, everyone will be happy,” he added.

Bengaluru FC are currently ninth on the table, with four points from five games. They travel to Mumbai on Thursday, November 17, their next game, and a group of supporters are expected to travel in parallel.

Also Read: Mumbai feels like home now: Bipin Singh

Also Read: Could India Ever Host the World Cup?

For more trial-related updates click: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…

Share

Sunday Boys to hold trials for MFA 1st Division

MFA 1st division side Sunday Boys FC will be conducting trials in the first week of November for the upcoming football season Sunday Boys Football Club was established in the…

Share

Millat FC to hold trials for MFA Elite Premier League

Millat FC – a club plying their trade in MFA Elite Division will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2022-23 season Last season Millat had a decent run in…

Share

MFA Elite Division club KSA to conduct trials for the upcoming season

Karnataka Sporting Association (KSA) – a club plying their trade in MFA Elite Division will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2022-23 season Last season KSA had an amazing…

Share

Young Guns Football Acadmey to conduct trials for their upcoming MFA 3rd Division Campaign

MFA 3rd Division club Young Guns Football Academy will be conducting open trials on October 9th for their upcoming season in Mumbai Football Young Guns Football Academy was founded in…

Share

OSCAR SSE to conduct trials for Youth I League and YPL team in the U13 category in Mumbai

Mumbai-based OSCAR SSE will conduct trials for their Youth I League and YPL team on 16th and 17th July 2022 at Wings Sports Centre ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star…

Share

ROQS to host trials for MFA Super Division

ROQS is revamping their squad for the upcoming season of the MFA Super Division. The team is organising trials for the men’s football team on Monday, 11th of July, 2022….

Share

MSP Academy is holding trials for the upcoming MFA Youth League

MFA Super Division club Mumbai Soccer Prodigies will be conducting trials for their MFA Youth League campaign on 22nd May 2022 in Bandra, Mumbai. Founded in 2006, the Mumbai Soccer…

Share

Football School of India to conduct Youth Trials

Mumbai-based Football School of India is going to conduct youth trials for its boys and girls squads. The trials will be conducted for players in the age group of under-13…

Share

Bengaluru FC Elite Youth Football Trials

Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club that competes in the Indian Super League (ISL) and are past champions of the I-League and ISL. The club has launched its Soccer…

Share