De Varennes' 2,500-mile round trip earns him Fan of the Match
As anyone who has ever attended a Nashville SC match in person can attest, it’s customary for the club to recognize an outstanding performance on the pitch with the Man of the Match award. It is in this spirit that the Nashville Soccer Supporters Trust will select a Fan of the Match following each home date to recognize the breadth of the incredible supporters that come out to each NSC match and help will the team to victory week in and week out.
While Nashville SC’s local and regional footprint has been the focus in the nascent years of the club, it’s important to remember that soccer is a global game, and that was made apparent this past weekend as this week’s Fan of the Match Antony de Varennes made his first trip to First Tennessee Park from his native Quebec City, Canada.
An active member of the Roadies, de Varennes has followed the club since it was announced and runs a French language Twitter account (@FrenchyNASH) and blog (Bleu & Or) dedicated to the club. Thanks in large part to the contributions of fellow Roadie Angelo Todaro, de Varennes was able to book a flight into Nashville last Thursday, and what a weekend it would prove to be, as he saw the Boys in Gold notch a 2-0 victory over Ottawa before heading back to Quebec.
“It all started with Angelo,” revealed de Varennes. “Without him, I wouldn’t have been here to enjoy a victory over a club from my home country. It was fun to be with the group as well. The chanting, the energy and the positivity was nice. It was also very family-oriented. I was beside a kid, and I liked it because the beautiful game is for everyone. In order to have a great club in the future, it’s starts with the kids.”
Perhaps the most striking thing for de Varennes for his first matchday experience was the personal connection that fans have developed with players, perhaps highlighted most by the team’s tradition of interacting with the supporters sections following each match.
“There is a proximity with the players that stands out. Before I left the match, I was able to talk with Bradley Bourgeois, Lebo Moloto, Ropapa Mensah, Taylor Washington and Matt Pickens. Bradley also gave me his jersey. I already loved the team, but it’s even more now.”
That wouldn’t be all, as he’d go on to run into a few more players as well as Nashville coach Gary Smith outside of First Tennessee Park following the match.
De Varennes has already stated that he plans to return for more matches in the future, but for now, our Fan of the Match will continue to watch from afar after an experience he won’t soon forget.