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From The Stands: Grazie

Continuing our From The Stands series where we introduce supporter groups around the K League for you to join, we chatted with Jung Muyeol about his Daegu FC supporters group, Grazie and what it is like to support one of the K League's original citizen clubs. 
(photo via facebook.com/daegufc)

Group Background

The Daegu FC supporters group was voluntarily founded right after the establishment of Daegu FC was confirmed in late 2002. Most people were from different backgrounds and were of different ages, but their common motivation to join the group was because they were impressed by the Korea National Football Team’s performance in the World Cup and to wanted to follow a local football team. The group has a very proud history of protesting against the naming of the club as Daegu Eagles (one of options for the name of Daegu FC) for the reason that Eagles don’t reflect the citizens’ will and using animals in the club's name is regarded as “baseball club naming”. The protest was very successful before Eagles could be confirmed, with the club being named Daegu FC, reflecting the result of polls. The representing color was Azure like the Italian National team shirts but it changed into sky blue (the color we are using these days) in 2012 by a huge appeal from the group in commemoration with 10th anniversary of club’s foundation.

Who are Grazie?

The Grazie is the group of people who love and support Daegu FC. Anyone is able to become a member of the GRAZIE as long as you love Daegu. The GRAZIE is the union of several different groups like Dominator, Dalgubeol Union, Yegrina and Nantiy. There used to be more groups in action when Daegu were in their heyday (mid 2000s), but those four are the most active these days. Besides, there are lots of people who don’t belong to any group but support and chant for Daegu under the name of GRAZIE. At present, there is no foreigner supporters group, but there are some foreigners spotted in the stand.

Where did your name come from?

The name of the GRAZIE has ambiguous meaning based on the two ways it is pronounced. Literally “Grazie” means “thank you” in Italian, representing gratitude for supporting and performance of the team. The other meaning is “Okay, let’s do it" (expressing agreement of doing something) in a local dialect.

Where is your HQ?

There is no HQ easily recognizable, but if I am asked, the Siji area (Sawol station in subway line no.2) acts as a HQ because the stadium is located in southeastern part of Daegu and majority of fans are living in residential area in the vicinity of Daegu Stadium. However, the HQ will move to the center of Daegu where Daegu’s new stadium is being built.

Any custom gear?

The union used to produce and sell custom gear like shirts, jackets, cotton bags and bottles but this action is more active at the smaller group level. You can easily find people wearing customized gears representing their own group.

Where can someone find out about you online?

The Grazie Facebook page.

Contact person?

You might want to contact via the above Facebook link. If you have a language problem in communicating with them, you could contact me via Twitter.

(image via facebook.com/daegufc)

At The Stadium

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

The supporters groups used to support in the North End (yellow seats sector) until temporary stands were installed behind a goal in 2015. Then, the North End was abandoned and spectators love watching and supporting Daegu in the temporary stands named “DG zone” which stands for Daegu Zone in the contest of naming N stand in 2015. This name was submitted by me and was officially selected. There’s no limit to entry into DG zone as long as you have valid DG zone tickets which are 5,000 won more expensive than normal tickets.

What does your group’s game day look? 

It’s probably similar to others. We try to arrive at the stadium an hour before a kick off, look around the club’s store and have a small talk with friends while watching the players warming up. People who are willing to chant tend to gather behind a goal, and people who don’t want to be disturbed are likely to be seated at sideline near the main tunnel. Normally the opposite of the tunnel is occupied by Angel club members and their company.

What are the group’s favorite chants/songs?

The favorite chant is called “charm song” which has nothing to do with the word “charm”. Charm is the local name of Soju (alcohol) that is produced and drunk in Daegu and its vicinity.

The English translation is as follows:

Oh my friends, let’s throw a party here
Put all my worries and concerns in a bottle of Charm soju
Let’s inflame our youth here for Daegu
Let’s run together with Daegu’s spirit in my humble body
Lalala Lalalala Lalala Lala Lala
Lalala Lalalala Lalala Lala Lala
Lalala Lalalala Lalala Lala Lala
Lalala Lalalala Lalala Lala Lala

You can hear the song by clicking here.


How far is the group willing to travel?

Because of the geographic location of Daegu, Incheon and Jeju are the farthest away team from Daegu. Besides these two teams, the group is generally willing to travel to see Daegu play. In the game against those two, we have a few people make the journey but on the whole, we never have had the experience of leaving an away stand empty if I am not wrong.

Is there a supporters bus for away games?

Yes, there is a bus for every match, but prerequisite is that a bus is only available in the condition of minimum of ten people. This limit is likely to be easily achieved unless it is Incheon or Gangwon.

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

We don’t have any regular place to watch the game. I believe most of us watch at home.

Fun Facts

What is the greatest game in Daegu FC history?

The greatest game in Daegu’s history would be the final round against Daejeon in 2016 when we secured a promotion spot after beating them 1-0. It won’t be forgettable forever in my entire life even though we failed to be crowned. In a funny way, the greatest game would be the match against Gangwon in 2013. The game was held on Wednesday at 14:00 because of the biting cold weather. It was mid November when the game was played. I am one of a few people who made journey to Gangneung. There were a few unexpected things that happened to us. The first thing was that our bus was taken away by Daegu city’s officials who were on their journey to the match as their bus was pulled over shoulder on highway due to a breakdown. The second thing was that our bus driver missed the exit to Gangneung direction and had to waste more time on the highway, turning back to the missed exit. As a result, we were 20 minutes late after kickoff. The game we should have won ended in 2-2 draw in the mid of heavy snow and our hope to survive the Classic faded.

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

We were experiencing a hard time until we were promoted to the Classic, but what makes us the best group was that we are founded on the strong pride of being the first citizen club in K League. I hope to see more people coming to support us in response to moving to a new football specific stadium.

Besides the GRAZIE though, there’s another group, called “Angel Club” which was voluntarily founded by higher social class like local entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors etc. in 2015 in the hope to help make the club robust and strong financially and physically so that Daegu would stand tall in the first division. They have a plan to make the group bigger and contribute to the development of Daegu FC and foundation of grassroots football in local.

If you are an Daegu FC supporter and are looking for fellow fans to head to the game with, you can join the Grazie Facebook group and get involved with events and team discussion. Additionally, if you are part of a K League supporters group and would like to be featured, please contact us at Info@KLeagueUnited.com.

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