In our first edition of International Saints, I had the fantastic opportunity to speak to Australian-based Southampton fan Matthew Queen and his family. Matthew is the directors of Southampton Australia Supporters.
TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHERE YOU GREW UP, WHAT YOU DO NOW.
I am 46 years old, I grew up in Netley Abbey (a small town around ten minutes from Southampton). I emigrated in 2005 with a young family in tow. My daughter Charlie is now 19 and Bailey now 14. I am currently managing a flooring franchise with Harvey Norman.
WHAT MADE YOU BECOME A SOUTHAMPTON SUPPORTER?
I was born and bred in Southampton, there is no other team I would rather support.
WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING A SOUTHAMPTON SUPPORTER IN AUSTRALIA?
It’s not as lonely as people may think, the internet connects so many of us.
AS DIRECTOR OF SOUTHAMPTON AUSTRALIA SUPPORTERS, HOW MANY SAINTS FANS WOULD YOU SAY THERE ARE IN AUSTRALIA?
We have over 5000 members across our social media platforms and of those, I would say around 500 active, are in Australia, plus their families, of course!
WHAT IS TV COVERAGE FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE LIKE IN AUSTRALIA? ARE SOUTHAMPTON OFTEN ON TV?
Optus Sport have the rights to the Premier and make a balls up of it most weekends. They are currently with the World Cup! Our supporter-based pubs around the country show most games, as long as the kick off times are friendly enough, so we organise meet ups at these venues.
HAVE YOU ATTENDED A GAME A ST MARY’S AND CAN YOU REMEMBER WHO IT WAS AGAINST?
I was at the opening game at St Mary’s against Espanyol. Up until I emigrated, I went to many games and it’s one of the biggest things I miss about being out here.
YOUR SON BAILEY IS ALSO A SOUTHAMPTON SUPPORTER. HAS HE SEEN THE SAINTS AT ST MARY’S YET?
Baz was 15 months when we emigrated, so he has not seen Saints play yet. It is a dream of ours to visit St Marys in the next year or two, and maybe get him to lead them out!
IS BAILEY THE ONLY SOUTHAMPTON SUPPORTER AT HIS SCHOOL? HAS HE MANAGED TO CONVINCE ANYONE ELSE TO BE A SAINT?
Yes, definitely the only one, so many of the so called “big six” teams have a lot of support out here.
WHO IS YOUR AND BAILEY’S FAVOURITE CURRENT SOUTHAMPTON PLAYER?
James Ward Prowse current player, but Sir Rickie Lambert and Graziano Pelle were his favourites when they were playing. Currently, he has Matt Le Tissier on his away shirt. All those names will never fade!
LET’S TALK A BIT ABOUT SAINTS NOW, LAST SEASON… WHAT WENT WRONG?
The whole club lost “The Southampton Way” since new ownership.
WHAT WAS YOUR INITIAL VIEWPOINT ON MARK HUGHES’ APPOINTMENT AT THE TIME, AND NOW?
It was good at the time as he brought in a bit of belief but only time will tell if he has enough to take the club forward, all depends if the board have his back.
WHAT DO SOUTHAMPTON NEED TO DO TO RE-ESTABLISH THEMSELVES AS THE “BEST OF THE REST” LIKE THEY WERE UNDER POCHETINNO AND KOEMAN?
Hurry up and get back to “The Southampton Way”, and also a goal scoring partnership up front.
WHERE DO YOU EXPECT SOUTHAMPTON TO FINISH COME MAY NEXT YEAR?
Until the squad is finalised, it’s hard to say, with the current squad it will be more of the same.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE —TO SEE AS CONTENT ON A FAMILY-BASED WEBSITE, BEING AN OVERSEAS FAN?
Ticket purchase and availability options should anyone be visiting Southampton from overseas
Are you a Saints fan in Australia looking to connect with a community? Then check out their Facebook page.