One of the great points of contention from some fans of the ‘traditional’ teams of the old National Soccer League is that the FFA has gone out of its way of removing any connection to ethnic groups in the A League. To some even going overboard, being terrified of anything which can be construed as ‘old soccer’ where names like ‘Croatia’ or Hellas’ could crop up. This is a topic for another time. But perhaps one area where the A League could use a bit more competition is the food choice offered at the football grounds. Don’t know in other cities, but for a game that attracts its fair share of Non English Speaking Background fans and fans from a more mainstram ‘Anglo/Celtic’ background who arguably may be more open to experience other cultures, the food on offer at A League matches is boring and bland,.
The grounds are great, but the catering, in my opinion leaves a bit to be desired. Yes we have the standard pies and chips, but really couldn’t we have something a bit more? Now Michael Lynch got criticised by some fans for mentioning making a link between ethnic teams, old soccer and food in this article, but I can’t draw the conclusion that one of the great things about Melbourne football fans is that they are not solely of the ‘pies, pasties and chips’ heritage and that adding a bit more exotic flavours in the food mix at the game is no great sin.
There is a great solution. Something that would not fall in the stereotype of ethnics and food, but instead would introduce to the game the epitome of food hipsterness that say ‘Melbourne’ in this decade, and these are the food trucks.
Apparently this is a Melbourne phenomenon, so what’s the best way to say ‘Melbourne’ at a football match? This plus as I said earlier it would allow a bit more variety to the food available at the game.
But not only food, coffee is important in Melbourne and while beer is essential for the younger set, there is many mature fans who wouldn’t mind a nice well made coffee. There is a coffee stall inside the ground. The coffee is actually not that bad (I’ve only ordered long blacks) but it is a bit dreary, and not much variety (only caffelatte, cappuccino, short and long blacks) what about having something like a Kere Kere coffee stand outside the ground? Not only they make great coffee but the way they match the customer and the coffee is by giving out a playing card, when the coffee is ready they shout out what type of card it is and the customer returns the card and gets the coffee. What about instead of playing cards you gave out replicas of Panini Cards? So when your coffee is ready they would shout the name of the player on the Panini card you got and not only you get your coffee, but a general sense of fun would ensue before you can say triple shot chai latte with one sugar.
Added to that I also think that both Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Hearts should contact KeepCup and make reusable coffee cups in teams’ colour. You may have seen the KeepCup cups around the traps. They are great because they are of the same size as the disposable paper ones, so they fit with the espresso machines but can be used again and again. Not only it is good environmentally it would be a great marketing exercise. Cups in AFL teams colours are already available, so why not for the A League?
While it will be impossible for these movable feasts to offer their food outside the ground, due to restrictions place by council, food trucks, cannot operate within 200m of an open takeaway business. In a way this is understadable. The costs of a takeaway van are less than an established business which has to pay rent etc. However there is one case where I wish they could operate to give more choice, and this is outside AAMI Park.I reckon it would certainly give plenty of yummy options for the fan, and perhaps even make a better atmosphere.