Ballarat soccer fans on the World Cup trail

So we are now 12 days into a 53-day World Cup adventure.

We have started with a small group of four from Ballarat – all super passionate about football.

There’s myself, Marcus lynch, Matt Jamieson and Josh Antonelli – the first of a bigger entourage on its way to Russia.

We will soon be joined by Michael Busija, Dom Swinton, Rod Oppenhuis, Dan Hollingworth and others.

Watching the Sebastopol Vikings live via FaceTIme was an early reminder of how much we already miss the guys back home, but the World Cup does call.

It is a lifelong dream for myself and most of the boys on the trip to be going to the tournament

With one eye on the Vikings at home and the other firmly on Russia, hopefully it can live up to extremely high expectations. 

Hours have been spent on walking tours and in museums along with the occasional pub in the early phase of on our journey which has taken us to Berlin, Warsaw, Vilnius, Riga and now Tallinn, from where we hyave watched England and Costa Rica play in a warm-up. What better way to do this too than in a football pub with a pint in hand.

Whether it is the currywurst –  a fast food German dish consisting of steamed, then fried pork sausage, cut into slices and seasoned with curry ketchup – we ate in Berlin, the soup in bread from Warsaw or the countless monuments we have photographed along the way, there is one thing we can all agree on, we are counting down our days to Russia.

GREEN AND GOLD: Michelle Prasad and Carla D’Alessandro are among the thousands of Socceroos fans bound for Russia. Picture: James Brickwood

GREEN AND GOLD: Michelle Prasad and Carla D’Alessandro are among the thousands of Socceroos fans bound for Russia. Picture: James Brickwood

As we edge closer, we are meeting more and more football mad fans from around the world.

Germans, Brazilians, Americans and other Aussies we have crossed paths with are all heading in the same direction.

Interestingly enough our list of games seems to impress even to most passionate supporters.

Our tickets include all of Australia’s games, all games in Kazan, two round of 16 games, a quarter final, a semi-final and the golden ticket itself – the World Cup final. What more is to there to say.

Let’s get this World Cup started.

SOCCEROOS’ group draw:

Saturday, June 16: Australia v France

Thursday, June 21: Australia v Denmark

Tuesday, June 26: Australia v Peru

COREY Smith coaches Sebastopols Vikings in Football Federation Victoria state league three.

This is the first in a series of weekly FIFA World Cup columns by Smith, which will be published each Saturday during the tournament, which starts next Thursday.