Story by Zach Colwell
Pictures by Ayush Kumar
THEY’VE travelled around the world to watch their beloved Celtic play Down Under, so they were always going to jump at the chance to be part of the build-up to the games.
But when Denis, Jason and Sean Connelly rocked up to Accor Stadium in their full Celtic kits, resplendent in hooped kilts and with thick Glaswegian accents, it was clear that these two sons and their dad weren’t just regular fans.
“We watched Celtic play Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League in Madrid on November 3, then basically jumped on a plane to Sydney,” explained Dad, Denis. Connelly.
That’s nearly 30 hours of travel just to watch their football team play in two countries. ”All for Celtic and Ange (Postecoglou) and the Bhoys” said son, Jason.
The Connellys now settle in Sydney for the next 18 days to enjoy everything Australia has to offer and watch their mighty Celtic line up alongside Everton and local rivals Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers in the Sydney Super Cup.
“First of all, we are going to win our games in the tournament, that’s why we’re here, that’s why we’ve come all this way,” added Denis.
Celtic FC are coming to Australia for the first time in 11 years to play in the Sydney Super Cup series, playing Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Thursday night before a feature match against storied English Premier League Club Everton FC at Accor Stadium on Sunday 20 November.
The Connellys’ love for Celtic FC is generational.
“It’s all to do with history,” explains Denis. “It’s taught to you from day one, all through your ancestors when the Irish came over to Scotland. It’s all to do with your family background, your upbringing . . . my Dad was a Celtic fan, and his Dad was a Celtic fan and it goes back all the way through generations.
“It’s in the blood, it’s in the family. It’s not just like Celtic is another football team, it’s actually part of your family. Celtic is a big family, and we count ourselves lucky to be part of Celtic.”
The priorities for the Connelly family are simple: “Roof over your head, then Celtic next.”
Their message to football fans in Australia is straightforward: “Do yourself a favour come and watch a real Scottish football team. Get off the couch and come and support Celtic.
“Get to the stadiums, it’s going to be a great atmosphere, and there are going to be goals so come and support Celtic.”
They couldn’t help themselves but end their chat at the stadium with, “Come on you bhoys in green!”
For tickets and information about the Sydney Super Cup, go to: sydneysupercup.com.au