For Club that has a long and storied history built on hardship and near death experiences, it is no surprise that when the chips were down in a year ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 48,000 Bloods 2020 members pledged their commitment to Swans.
That’s certainly the view of number one ticket holder Michael Joyce, whose love for the Swans dates back to the Lake Oval, watching Bob Skilton and John Rantall.
“I genuinely believe that being a South Melbourne/Sydney Swans supporter, I’ve learned a lot about resilience and loyalty,” Joyce explains.
“Look at the challenges we faced during the late 70s and early 80s when the team moved to Sydney; they were tough times, but we came out of it bigger and better.”
Ahead of the Member Thank You Round clash against the Brisbane Lions in Cairns, Joyce says he thrilled to see 48,000 members commit to the Club, but despite all the challenges, he is not surprised.
He uses the analogy that on the field, our players are often asked to ‘go’ when its their turn – to display courage, commitment and loyalty. But in 2020, it has been the members turn to ‘go’, and they have delivered.
“Part of that Bloods culture for players is showing courage, commitment and loyalty. But off the field, we have had to step up this year as members and take our turn. We’ve had to show that commitment,” Joyce says.
“I’m so happy that 48,000 members signed on for 2020.
“It’s a fantastic result and a credit to the Club who have tried so hard to engage members despite the challenges, with webinars and Bloods 2020 exclusives.
“But is a credit to all the members because it has been a tough year for people, on so many fronts.”
“To me, it’s a sign of how far the Club has come and the maturity of the supporters, that under any circumstances, they are willing to stick so solid,” he says.
For Michael and wife Marg, the 2020 season had promised so much as number one ticket holders. It was to be year of recognition for a lifetime of support for the Bloods. It was to be a year of many red and white functions and most importantly, many matches.
But their plans to attend every match in 2020 were unfortunately upended by the pandemic.
Despite all the challenges of this year, Joyce sums up the sentiments shared by so many.
“I’m just so proud to be one of the 48,000”.