January 8 2013
Following Crystal Palace on the other side of the world in Australia is no mean feat, as Robert Seltzer explains.
Itís 10am on a Saturday and the Palace match against Hudersfield is on TV with a 5.20pm kick-off. I am unable to get to the game, so am very excited to be able to see the boys play, especially with the goals flying in at the moment.
The only problem is that kick-off is a mere 18-odd hours away as I am a Palace fan living in Australia.
Weíve been pretty lucky this season with the amount of television coverage that weíve got Down Under. So far we've been on for the Charlton game, and the Brighton and Millwall games were played 'as live' the next day.
A few of us Palace fans have been meeting up all over Australia and my particular meet-up is in Sydney. For the Brighton fixture, we managed to get a good 25 people down to the pub the next day. The landlord has even promised us the back room if we get promotion (itís West Hamís Sydney pub).
All I have to do now is get through my usual routines. Firstly I hit the gym, get that done and out of the way and then off for a nice spot of lunch with the girlfriend.
The weather is beautiful, a balmy 30 degrees without a cloud in the sky. She is then off to her parents place for the Christmas festivities (I will be joining them after the game), and I am all alone.
The rest of the day takes time to pass. I meet up with some mates for a beer and head to the beach for a bit. When home itís dinner time and watch some crap on the box. Itís 10pm now, only six hours until kick off.
Now the big question - do I try and get some shut-eye and head into town about 3am? Or do I go for it and pull an all-nighter? Arrangements are made with some of the boys and the all-nighter is on!
After congregating at the pub about midnight, we watch the feeble Premier League offering that is on the screen. The beers are flowing and the excitement is growing, 'COME ON PALACE.'
More Palace fans have started to arrive now. The cleverer ones among us that wisely had some sleep and are now fresh and ready for it - that was a good idea!
The pub empties and it is left for us Eagles. They are staying open an hour later for us to watch it and it's one hell of a game. Damien Delaney gets sent off, the locals are restless, Wilfried Zaha scores a screamer, everyone is jumping all over the place - who cares about the fatigue this is awesome.
Julian Speroni makes a very uncharacteristic mistake, the place deflates and all of a sudden it feels like it is 5.50am and you have been up for nearly 24 hours.
We all urge the players forward for the winner but the final whistle is sounded and a draw it is and it's also light outside.
Now that itís 6.15 am and I have done my near 24 hours for the mighty Eagles, I have to get on a train for an hour-and-a-half up the coast to the in-laws and some kip. All worth it though COYP!!
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