It’s a beautiful, beautiful sport, isn’t it?
There could be a Huddesfield Town fan anywhere in the world, but Klang would never be a place that hits your head instantly, at the mention of The Terriers. But for Sivan John, it’s completely different. He may be more than 9000 miles away from the John Smith Stadium, but on Monday night, he’ll be cheering the Huddersfield boys, who will be playing Reading for a spot in next season’s English Premier League.
Sivan started supporting Huddersfield in 2011, after visiting his uncle in the United Kingdom. Since then, he has had to spent countless days waking up in the wee hours of the night to watch his beloved team strut their stuff. They were in the League One when he first became a Terrier, before they eventually secured promotion into the Championship.
But life in England’s second-highest football division was never easy. In fact, just over a year ago, Huddersfield could only secure a 19th spot finish on the table. One year later, they are 90 minutes away from possibly getting a Premier League slot, thanks to a turnaround that has been inspired by head coach, David Wagner.
And ahead of the Championship play-offs final on Monday night, Sivan John – who will not be able to catch the match in Wembley due to work commitments – penned an emotional open letter to David Wagner for everything he has done since arriving at the John Smith Stadium in 2015.
Here’s the full open letter:
Guten Tag Mr. Wagner; Dear Players & Coaching Staff,
Sorry if I’m disturbing you all as I’m sure everyone must be very busy right now preparing for the match against Reading come next Monday in Wembley (heard that it was a very important one!).
Therefore, I promise that I won’t take too much if your time (that is if you do have the time to read this, haha!)
Firstly, it is with great regret that I won’t be able to attend the match in Wembley. In case you didn’t know, I live more than 6,000 miles away from Huddersfield. Travelling isn’t the issue here as I’ve been told there are many Town fans coming from overseas (believe me, there are plenty of Terriers out there and you know it too!) that will be attending the game.
It’s just that I have just joined a new company so work commitment doesn’t allow me to go on a lengthy time off to fly to London at the most crucial part of my employment (so looks like we both have something big going on this month!).
Anyway, that’s beside the point, as I would like to take this opportunity to open my heart to you all.
It’s been almost 6 years since I’ve became a proud Huddersfield Town Football Club supporter. You might have heard the story about a guy from Malaysia (yep, that little country in the Far East) who instantly fell in love with this club after attending a home match.
You do? Yep, that’s me!
When I started supporting this club we were playing in League One, I knew little about the club back then. I learned that in Mr. Dean Hoyle (please say hi to him for me!), we have the best chairman in the business.
I was aware we were doing pretty alright in the league with a long unbeaten streak at one stage. And exactly 8 months from that fateful day, we were on way to Wembley to face Sheffield United for a place in the Championship division.
I watched the entire game, it was very stressful and nerve wrecking. I even chewed my finger nails during the penalty shootout. When Simonsen (United’s keeper) decided to send the ball straight to the moon, I screamed! It was so loud that it shook everyone in my house.
That was exactly how I felt the other day during against Sheffield Wednesday. I had to wake up as early as 2am (local time) and it was around 5 something in the morning when it go to penalties. I think this time my scream must have woke up the neighbors, haha!
Anyway, following our triumph in Wembley it was a great feeling to know that Huddersfield Town were promoted, but life in the Championship wasn’t easy, Mr. Wagner.
Every season, it’s a constant struggle. When things were good, it was good. But when it gets bad, it could get worse. The experts tend to believe that we’re the one whose gonna be the first to drop, I’m sure you’re very familiar about this eh.
Nevertheless, the club, the players and the fans always persevere; surviving one season to the next.
It came to a point where the football was becoming too negative (not going to dwell too much on this part). We came to a crossroad where we started to question many things about the club.
Right in the middle of this storm, there you were Mr. Wagner: sitting calmly next to your assistant Mr. Bühler.
To be honest, we didn’t know much about you. We learn that you’re a good friend of Mr. Klopp and that he wanted you to be his right-hand guy at Liverpool. I must say you made the right choice of coming to Huddersfield, you know I’m right! You have instantly won our hearts because of this.
What was more amazing is that even with the players that you have inherited; you manage make us play beautiful football again. Your presence has rejuvenated the club. Your approach was something refreshing (and it was about time!). You also brought that ever-famous calmness to the dressing room.
As such, we could feel there is something exciting brewing in the air and the beginning of a new revolution. Hence why, we named that revolution after you, Mr. Wagner!
When I started to support this cub, l learned that this club had a glorious chapter back in the 1920s. I’m not too sure if there is any one of us whom is alive today to tell us what was it like back then.
But now thanks to you Mr Wagner, our club is just one game away from creating another glorious chapter.
You made us believe that we can still go up against anyone. You gave us the confidence that we can play a brand football that is entertaining yet still can be effective. People have started to call us Hudderslona! (yes, we’ve been compared to that football club called Barcelona).
It is that same belief and confidence that got us this far. I guess this is the reason why during the penalty shootout against Wednesday; you and the players looked very relaxed. The pressure was almost non-existence that even our hero Danny (Ward) took a while to realize that we’ve just booked a trip to Wembley (that was hilarious you know!)
And now, we’re this close to join the big league and mingle among the big boys. Something which many of us didn’t expect to happen so soon since your arrival. If anyone told me this would happen years ago, I probably would think they’re crazy!
Will I ever be able to thank you enough for all this, Mr. Wagner? Honestly I don’t think I ever will. Nevertheless, I’m thanking you again!
To the players, well what can I say. You guys are already legend in our hearts for exceeding everyone’s expectation this season.
Just wish to remind you that when you step on to that sacred pitch in Wembley, go out and do your best (I know you guys will). You won’t be alone as I was told nearly 40,000 Terriers will be in full voice right behind you.
People keep asking me what’s with this obsession that I have in the blue and white colour? I guess there must some cosmic power that drove me towards the colours of this club. After all, it’s always a lovely day when the sky is blue and white, right? So, let’s hope it remains that way on the 29th of May!
Other posts by Keeshaanan Sundaresan