Emer Dahl: Why I'm Flock End
The great Scottish player and coach Jock Stein once said, “Football is nothing without fans.” Presenting #WhyImFlockEnd: a weekly series highlighting members of Forward Madison FC’s Independent Supporters Association, affectionately termed The Flock.
From when I could walk I was kicking a ball and when I wasn’t playing football, I was watching football. Some might call it an obsession but true fans know it as passion. Passion and love for the game is a wonderful thing, it brings people together regardless of background, race, religion, gender etc.
Growing up in a football world, I was often outnumbered and underestimated because of my gender but once I was on a football pitch I felt like I was equal.
Growing up in rural Ireland, there weren’t girls teams to play on so I had no choice but to play on the boys teams (much to the annoyance of my older brother) but I never felt more comfortable than when I had a ball at my feet. Football has the potential to break down barriers across many spectrums and that’s something the world needs now more than ever. Forward Madison has already shown a commitment to being the best representation of the city of Madison and I think the community appreciates that. If the community is involved, only positive things can happen.
What makes you excited to be a part of The Flock this year?
I’m excited to be able to attend matches on a regular basis. I love having a local team to root for and such a vibrant football community to be a part of.
Where did you grow up, what's your hometown like, and what brought you to Madison?
I grew up in Gaoth Dobhair, a small parish in the north west of Ireland. With the border of Northern Ireland on one side and the fierce Atlantic Ocean on the other. I moved here ten years ago because a friend told me it was cool, she wasn’t wrong.
Who's your all-time favorite footballer and why?
I’m Flock End
Because if the community is involved, only positive things can happen
What are you looking forward to most about Forward Madison's inaugural season?
Being part of something from the very beginning is special. I’ve never seen a club so inclusive of fan ideas and input before, how can you not be excited about that?
What aspect of soccer supporter culture would you like to see in the Flock End?
Being Irish I love a good sing song, so there’s got to be noise in the stands to create an atmosphere. Atmosphere in the stands will translate to results on the pitch.
Favorite place to hang out with friends in Madison?
What's your favorite or most memorable soccer match that you've been to?
Has to be my first Glasgow Celtic game. You can’t describe the atmosphere of Celtic Park, you have to experience it for yourself. I had goosebumps for the whole game.
When Emer isn’t singing her heart out for the pink and blue at Breese Stevens Field, you can probably find her playing for and managing Madison’s ladies Gaelic football team.