Australian fans of Scottish Premier League outfit Hibernian will be noticed in the crowd when the 2020-21 kicks-off later this year even though matches will be played behind closed doors.
The Australian arm of the Hibernian Supporters Association has purchased 33 Kangaroo cut-outs to sit in the grandstand at the club’s Easter Road home as part of the side’s ‘Be The Face in the Crowd’ project.
In an interview with the club’s website, Fred Legget, a founding member of the Aussie Hibbees collective said the group jumped at the chance to show their support but with a distinct Australian twist.
“The Face In The Crowd promotion really captured our imagination. We saw it as a way we could assist the club financially, show our support in an Aussie kind of way and hopefully add a bit of fun to proceedings,” Legget said.
“We originally aimed for six kangaroos, but we were overwhelmed by the response. We also hope it might result in those Hibs supporters who live in Australia but maybe didn’t know about the group getting in touch.
“In short, we thought it was a brilliant promotion that would benefit everybody.”
Legget revealed the Kangaroos were not a cheap exercise for the fan club, costing them £700 (A$1250), but it’s not the first time they’ve opened their wallets to help their team.
“We try to contribute to the club’s coffers whenever we can,” he said
“We sponsor a couple of Hibernian women's team players, we bought a few season tickets that we donated to an Edinburgh charity, several members make donations through Hibernian Supporters and, of course, there are the innumerable purchases from the club store.”
Hibernian winger and Socceroos international Martin Boyle was blown away by the Kangaroos but admitted it was one of the more bizarre things he had seen in his football career so far.
“It’s unbelievable the lengths these guys go to watch us every weekend and it’s appreciated.
"I get some great messages from supporters based in Australia and hopefully they’re looking forward to the start of the season as much as we are.
“I’ve seen some strange things in my time at Easter Road but those kangaroos are right up there.”