Wanderers find a loyal home with fans

ERIC Berry and his two sons may just be the biggest fans of Australia's newest A-League soccer club.

The red-hot Western Sydney Wanderers have some mighty fans but Berry and sons Damien, 19, and Jake, 16, tick a lot of boxes — starting with dedication and passion, as the western Sydney residents have not missed a solitary home game in the Wanderers' inaugural season.

And on top of that they have attended all of the women's W-League home games at Campbelltown. That's another box ticked by the Berrys.

They also attend team training sessions and as an amateur photographer Berry loves to share his photos of the matches with players and other fans.

W-League Western Sydney Wanderers player Catherine Cannuli says the Berrys' support is fantastic.

"Mr Berry's always being interactive, taking photos and giving us discs of the photos so we have memories of the games, too," she said.

"He even drove all the way down to Canberra in an away game to support us."

Berry said he decided to follow the Wanderers because it's a club that represents where they are from and where they live.

"When they announced the Wanderers' club was forming, the first thing I thought of was that it was going to be a community club — and I was right," he said. "They asked our opinion on what colours to pick and where we wanted games to be played. There's so much focus on the community. That's what I love about it."

He said this strong sense of community was evident when he wore his Wanderers shirt. "People would tap me on the shoulder and ask 'Who do you sing for?' It's a sense of family, not just a club. It really is a family."

Berry loves the atmosphere at Wanderers matches.

"The Parramatta Stadium atmosphere is fantastic. What links it together is the family environment, with the players, the staff and the fans," he said.

He said it was hard to choose a favourite player.

"It's a really close call but I'll say Adam d'Appuzzo," he said. "He's the left fullback and wears No.3 — which was my position when I used to play. He's a really nice guy away from the pitch.

"Then I'd have to say Tarek Elrich is a close second. He's one of the faces of the club. He's just such a fan-focused player.

"Between him and Adam it's the toss of a coin."

In the W-League Berry said his favourite player was Catherine Cannuli but he's also been a Sarah Walsh fan as long as he can remember.

"Catherine is not just my favourite player, she's Jake's favourite, too," he said. "He thinks she's just great. Catherine gives so much of herself, not just on the pitch but off as well. She's such a wonderful person, a really nice lady and a really good footballer."

And the feeling is mutual. During our interview with Cannuli we asked her about fans who stood out and she promptly nominated Mr Berry.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop