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From The Stands: Incheon United Supporters

Continuing our From The Stands series where we introduce supporter groups around the K League for you to join, we stop by Incheon and chat with Luke Evans about his experience in the South stand of one of Korea's finest football parks. 
(Photo Credit: Luke Evans)

Group Background

Who are the Incheon supporters’ groups?

Like other K-League teams, the Incheon Ultras are composed of several “factions”, and are organised according to geographical location within Incheon itself. They all congregate at the bottom of the South Stand in the safe standing area and have flags on telescopic poles that generally get in the way of everyone else. The groups are: TNT (Terror and Trembling), the Ultras, Ultrashawk and Poseidon.. There’s been infighting between the groups in the past, and for one season, one of the groups moved to a different stand. They’re also not too keen on foreigners trying to introduce foreign songs, as one of our lads found out the other year. There’s about 200 ultras in total at most home games, and around 50 per away fixture – which isn’t too shabby considering our form and performances over the last five years.

The foreign group is composed of between 3 and 10 fans, depending on the weather, wives and babysitting duties. We don’t have an HQ as we’re all scattered across Incheon (and in the case of one lad, Seoul) and so we generally meet at the ground.

Where did your name come from?

We call ourselves the Classy United Non-native Team Supporters, because that’s the best acronym we could think of. It’s a bit long and we’re in the process of thinking of something catchier. We’ve also considered getting some custom tops, but we’re all a bit cheap and Korean clothing tends to be a bit tight. With that said, we all have various official shirts from different years. Some of the lads have been watching for almost a decade and have shirts going back that long too. You’ll spot them easily, as they tend to be shirts they bought when they first came to Korea and have since grown out of (but still wear).

Where can someone find out about you online?

We set up a Facebook page last year, Incheon United Expats, which mostly served to keep Conor Chapman’s family updated about the games. We had hoped to get more people involved from Incheon itself, but most of the foreigners here aren’t particularly bothered. You can contact any of us via the Facebook page, and it’s a bit of a pot luck as to who’ll respond. Just hope you don’t get Hicks.

Incheon Expat Supporters celebrating United's victory on the final day of the 2016 season, which kept them in K League Classic for another year. (phot credit:  Luke Evans)


At The Stadium

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

We sit in the middle of the South Stand by the gangway as it’s close to the beer and the toilets. We’re generally quite scared of missing a goal as Incheon don’t score many, so that’s an important factor. We share our area with a guy who comes to games and watches on his phone; a few picnicking families, the school kids who want to speak to foreigners but are too scared to sit right next to us, and the couples who come for some peace and quiet (more fool them). If anyone sits in our seats, we sit as close to them as possible and they generally move by half time.

What does your group’s game day look like? 

We usually get to the stadium about an hour before kick-off to make sure we get our seats. We go to the local store to buy the 4-for-10 beers, and smuggle them into the ground. Most of the game is spent moaning about the pitch, VAR, the chances our nans could have scored, and the goals we concede that our nans could have saved. It’s usually a fun day out, despite the football on offer.

What are the group’s favorite chants/songs?

As previously mentioned, we’re not allowed to sing English songs, though we’ve tried to get a few going in the past. Highlights include:

“Your mum… makes bad kimchi”
“We all dream of a team of waegukins”
and “Our airport’s better than yours”

Traveling

How far is the group willing to travel?

We went to Suwon FC once, and it finished 0-0. Some of our lads also got lost on the way to Seongnam and refuse to go there again. We’re also likely to go to Seoul if it’s a Saturday afternoon game and we can go to Itaewon/Hongdae afterwards.

Is there a supporters’ bus for away games?

We find the subway to be more convenient. Adam had a bad experience on buses, but I don’t remember the full story.

If you can’t make it to the game, where can you meet? Do you have watch parties?

We watch it at home, separately, and chat on our Kakao group. We were invited to one of the lad’s houses to watch, but then I think his wife vetoed it. We haven’t been asked back since.

Supporters stormed the field in 2016 when Incheon United successfully avoided relegation. (photo credit: Luke Evans) 

Fun Facts

What is the greatest game in IUFC history?

We made the FA Cup Final the other year, against Seoul, in Seoul. And lost. Aside from that, we’d probably all agree that the final game of the 2016 season against Suwon FC was the best we’ve been to, but that’s likely because of the pitch and tunnel invasion – and the relief of staying up.

What makes Incheon one of the best groups in K League?

We’ll never be confused with glory supporters. I think we’re also fairly balanced during and after games. We all support shit teams in England, too (we have two Spurs fans, for example) and so we don’t expect much. We’re just happy to have a few beers, have a laugh and a shout.


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


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