Passion, it’s not inherently complex yet it can’t be faked. It has to start from a place of personal connection and conviction. From inside.
Our continent is littered with examples of soccer clubs who have tried to manufacture passion and who have failed. Too often, trying to be too many things at once, preventing the spark that creates the connection.
It reminds me of something our former coach Marc Dos Santos said in the Fury’s inaugural season. That you have build a club around an identity. That when the people who are in the club – the coaches, the staff and the players – move on as they inevitably will, the identity stays.
That’s the recipe that differentiates great clubs from mediocre ones. The foundation is not of concrete (though a stadium helps), the foundation is the identity.
That’s what gets everybody moving in the same direction together. That’s when the connections multiply to become a roar in the stadium.
You can hear the difference – feel the difference – between a club with an identity and one without.
We know, because we’ve been both.
While I wonder what could have been the past two seasons, my goal is not to dwell on the past. (Though, yes, we should heed its lessons.)
This offseason feels like a hiatus is ending, like we are headed where we are supposed to be. A breath of cold, fresh air where once it was stuffy.
There’s definitely some optimism infused here, but there’s a reason for it.
Our club is signing our countrymen. Our coach respects the club and appears focussed, capable. Our manager, an icon who exudes ethic, humble.
Our coach talks about the style of play being based on an “idea” – the aim of purpose. He speaks about the culture of the club. He doesn’t make his personality out to be larger than our history. We feel we can trust him to make decisions based on the interest of the team.
These are not things that are inherently complex, but they can’t be faked.
Because of this, there’s something else that will not need to be faked (not that it could be): our passion.