Mario Shabow is a name that is familiar to most Wanderers fans these days: whether you stood next to him in the stands for three seasons or you’ve watched him on the pitch, you know him.
Having supported the Wanderers’ since their first ever match against Nepean FC, Shabow is the dream story of a fan who plays for the team he loves.
With Memberships on sale now and Sydney Derby tickets being released on Thursday 11 August, we sat down to speak to the crafty midfielder about his time in the stands.
“People in the west, they have a lot of passion for the game, their love for the game is strong and just to have the crest representing our city is something special,” said Shabow.
“Football is an emotional game, with the passion we have it can definitely make a grown man cry.
And that journey started after attending one match at Cook Park.
“I was playing for Blacktown and I heard the news that a Hyundai A-League club was coming so I was excited about the prospect of that and went to the first pre-season match.
“With the colours, the crest, representing the west and the passion on show from the first match, it just clicked with me from that moment and my love for the club went forward from that.
“I’m still a member to this day. Membership is important for me, for the RBB boys and for whoever comes to the stadium for the first pick of tickets and making sure you get tickets to every game.”
That passion and love for the club continued to grow for the youngster, with one particular highlight.
“The ACL Final at home, when Tomi Juric scored the goal the stadium just went – crazy – I couldn’t even hear my own voice. Just remembering the people around me, there were boys there that I know in tears due to how happy they were.”
The Sydney Derby in Round 1 has been tipped to break the Hyundai A-League attendance record after the announcement that it will be played at ANZ Stadium. When tickets are released to the general public on Thursday 18 August it will give a good indication of the size of the crowd.
“The derby is important for many reasons. For the fans it’s a chance to show which colours represent the city. For a player you want to win the derby for your city, for your fans and for the three points.
“It’s one of the most important games of the season.
And for any of Shabow’s mates who wear Sky Blue…
“No chance. No absolute chance. For that 90 minutes we’re rivals, we definitely won’t get along during the match.”
Sydney Derby Tickets
Members: on sale Thursday 11 August
General public: on sale Thursday 18 August
On sale now: click here to view packages and secure your seat.