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From The Stands: Daejeon Citizen Supporters

"From The Stands" is a series dedicated to introducing supporter groups around the K League. This week our focus is on the supporters of Daejeon Citizen, a club which has a high number of unique supporters groups. The lifeblood of any football club is the supporters and given Daejeon Citizen's on the field problems, the backing from the stands is exactly what Citizen need; as one united supporters group to help lift the Purples back up the table and into prominence. That's what long-time Daejeon supporter Liam Birch thinks who harks back to the days when Purple Arena resided in the self-proclaimed football capital of Korea, was close to full, and the team made the K League playoffs.
(Photo Credit: K League )

Group Background

Who are the more prominent Daejeon supporters groups?

Daejeon has multiple fan groups, each composed of 10-20 people. It's really quite an absurd situation. A few of the more notable groups are 'Daejeonista', 'Ultras Utopia', and 'Purple Crew'. There has been a significant amount of infighting between the groups, which again is patently ridiculous considering the size of each and the fact that Citizen are not particularly well endowed in the fan department these days. The boys need everyone to unite and get us up the table!

Where is your HQ?

The football capital of Korea! (The phrase 축구특별시 chugku teukbyeolshi - Special Football City is prominently displayed on the jersey). As an aside, Daejeon did indeed used to be one of the best supported teams in the league. Perennially struggling at the foot of the table generally has the effect of turning fans off. The phrase is surely now used for ironic comedic purposes.

Where did your name come from?

The Purple Crew is, I believe, the oldest of the groups. The name refers to the colour of the shirt that Daejeon play in. The problem is of course that Daejeon don't play in purple as such, more dark red/maroon, but let's not let such minor details get in the way of the facts.

Any custom gear?

Definitely. All of the major groups produce their own paraphernalia such as t-shirts and scarves. The Ultras Utopia biker jackets are especially fetching and the Daejonista t-shirts in "purple" and dark blue were popular, too. They were even seen being worn by young children in after school study programmes!

Where can someone find out about you online?

The three supporters groups mentioned can all be found on Facebook at: DaejeonistaUltras Utopia, and Purple Crew.

Contact person?

As the social butterfly that I am, you can contact me on Facebook.

At The Stadium

Does your section have a name? Do you share the section with others?

Most groups congregate in the South Stand at the Purple Arena, although some have relocated to the west.

What does your group’s game day look like?

Groups arrive at the stadium early, set up merchandise stores, prepare the flag and drum displays, sink a few pints, and generally mooch around until kick off.

What is the group’s favourite chants/songs?

One of the newish but popular chants goes something like: "Daejeon, we laugh with you, we cry with you, we're with you forever". There's naturally been a lot more crying than laughing of late. There's also the classic "Daejeon Citizen" chant to the tune of Karma Chameleon.


How far is the group willing to travel?

As far as it takes. I went to Jeju away in 2007 and we took at least 30 fans. Very respectable considering the cost and distance. Away attendances have fallen dramatically in recent years however.

Is there a supporters bus for away games?

There is indeed, and it's provided free of charge.

If you can’t make it to the game, where can you meet?

"Can't make it to the game" is not a concept that I am aware of. Two days after the birth of my first child I was in Busan to watch our opening game of the season; a 1-0 defeat in which we didn't register a shot on goal. Great times.

Fun Facts

What is the greatest game in Daejeon supporters' history?

The last game of the 2007 season, at home against our rivals Suwon Samsung. We were in 7th place, rising from the bottom of the league on the back of five consecutive victories, inspired by a team comprising of Denilson, Shuva, Brasilia, Ko Jongsoo (now our manager), Choi Eunsung, and so on. We needed to win, while also relying on FC Seoul not beating Daegu. We won 2-1, the winner coming from Shuva midway through the second half. At least 35,000 were in attendance and when the news came through that Seoul had failed to beat Daegu, the place erupted. This was when flares were still allowed in the league (no pryro - no party) and there were points in the game that you couldn't even see the pitch. It was an awesome experience.

What makes Daejeon fans amongst the best in K League?

The passion of the hardcore few that remain is unparalleled. As a foreigner, I was made to feel totally welcome and have made some incredible friendships over the years. We are self-deprecating, while at the same time providing all the support that the boys need to perform to their best.

Things aren't going that well for Daejeon these days but are there any funny or interesting stories from Daejeon's more successful years?

There are too many to tell. Off the top of my head, the funniest was probably after the aforementioned away game at Jeju when, after a 3-2 victory to put us into playoff contention, we drove around the island in a rented minibus hanging out of the windows and sunroof in a soju-induced craze 'informing' the locals of our triumph. The local constabulary were rather ungrateful upon hearing the joyous news however...

If you are a Daejeon fan and are looking for fellow fans to head to the game with, you can join the Daejeon Citizen Supporters Facebook group by clicking here and get involved with events and team discussion.

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