Interview with Monsters!
Group from Larissa (Greece)
Interview with Monsters!
Group from Larissa (Greece)
1)Tell us some things about Monsters history.
Monsters fan club was founded in 1982. Our primitive nucleus was in fact a company of young ex “Ierolohites” (the first in fact fan club in teams history with a name translated as “members of the holy company”) who disagreed with the conception of Ierolohites about helping the team and generally wanted to follow the modern expressions of supporting.
In the first period of our history our purpose was not to run the club with official papers and offices, but in a… weird freedom for all the young people who wanted to help the team of the city.
The most important event for the club was in the legendary period 1987-1988, because we played the basic role for the uprising of the whole city when a weird story was invented to steal from Larissa (A.E.L.) FC 4 points and the first position. The supporters possessed the national road and the railway station and the whole country remained cut in two until justice reappeared and finally A.E.L. won the Greek championship.
During the tough period 1997-1998 came the beginning of the second era for Monsters in a completely different way comparing to the past. So today Monsters keep their own offices, their own site, producing their own official materials and fight hard to create the new generations of supporters. They stood by the team and finally led A.E. Larissa from the third division back to the top Greek clubs.
2) How the name “Monsters” came out?
A few days after Monsters first presence on the 31st of March, the company spent a whole night turning pages in dictionaries trying to pick up the suitable name. Finally, the inspiration came from a cartoon TV series...!
3) Which are the reasons that made and keep making you support this football club?
A.E. Larissa started growing stronger in the 80's having basically young talented players from around the area. This whole effort ended to a very strong team that faced the typical protagonists of the greek football and finally won the greek cup in 1985 and the greek championship in 1988. This was a really unique revolution and A.E.L. became the symbol for the whole city (and not only of course).
That's why the entire city participated in the uprising of March of 88 when – as we said before – a weird story was invented to steal the first position of A.E. Larissa.
Those glorious days A.E.L. ended slyly and slowly at the third division, but the support of the fans and the weight of the history kept the team alive against huge debts. All those people who believed in the difficult days that the crimson boys will strike back, today they can only feel proud and vindicated. Generally, A.E.L. allows us to express our need to be rebels, provocative, proud and to walk against the current... Against the wind!
4) What's the relationship between Monsters and Larissa F.C. (AEL)?
Monsters existence is owed to A.E. Larissa. A.E.L. is Monsters life, Monsters heart and soul, Monsters ideology, Monsters everything! So without A.E.L. there are no Monsters. But the history proved also that A.E. Larissa owes her present existence to Monsters, because they stood by her side in very difficult situations helping her to strike back again. In a few words, there is a unique bidirectional relationship between A.E.L. and Monsters.
Except to these, especially the last four years the relationship between Monsters and A.E.L. board is very good and functional. The team's president is a young ambitious person, open-minded and close to everyone. We often have meeting for various matters around the team and the supporters club and there is trust and respect from both sides.
5) Tell us a bit about the Greek fan scene.
The greek fan scene probably crosses a new era, basically of the recent changes in the law for violence in football. Supporters started arranging acts of protesting together, have tried through sites and magazines to start growing a supporters conscience and feed the spirit of united fans against the unfair treatment of the law. But at the same time, we do believe that there are groups who promote the use of various “weapons” against enemy supporters, inventing a game that has nothing to do with honesty, respect and pride…
6) Are there any rivalries or friendships between you and other fans in Greece? How did that grow?
As we have fought hard through years to keep our city “clean” form supports clubs of other teams, we feel like enemies the typical known teams of our country who consider as necessary to have clubs in every country city. We've learnt to stand alone against the rule and we prefer to face it this way, without special preferences.
Apart from this, we do have a friendly relation with the supporters from Aigaleo; it's a long story since the 80's and remains till our days. Speaking for abroad teams, we have a good communication with Ultras Nurnberg and we do have the will to keep it for a long time.
7) Is there anything that makes you believe that you are different to the other Greek fans? If so, what's this?
For everyone who knows many details for the greek football reality, it is clear that fighting in the third division for years is just like death. Instead of that, we stood by the team travelling in small towns and stadiums that looked like they had escaped from a different age. We had serious problems watching our team die of debts day by day: everyone who knew the bottom, we had reached the point to think that we are completely crazy dreaming about getting back to the first division or European competitions. We fought hard, we kept our faith and we lived the impossible…
Seriously.., it could be said that we've seen everything..!
8) A city can be something special for a fan… what's the relationship between Monsters and the city of Larissa?
Our city is like our fortress, our ghetto. The emblem of Larissa city, which is taken from an ancient coin, is similar to the emblem of the team. Through the golden eighties the team and the city became one and so the team influences the rhythm of the city and the visions in its streets. So because of this bond we consider our city like the plain for the galloping horse of our team.
9) How is the daily life in Larissa without any rival?
Our daily life in Larissa, in our free time after work has always to do with the supporters club. In this second era for the club since the end of 1997, our place has never closed for one single day, even if it is Christmas, New Years Day, Easter or anything. Our club is our second home. We gather there and plan everything that has to do with our future here. We have the luxury to live in our crimson city and deal with everything except from dealing with enemy supporters club. Of course they don't and they will not exist in Larissa.
This is our daily fact and we'll take care to keep it this way.
10) What's your opinion about violence?
Violence is a part of life, a constant shadow while living among people. Violence in sports used to be a honest battle between fans who defend the flags and the pride of their team or city. A huge family traveling with the team at away games and trying with their songs and their voices to push them for victory are in an imaginary level an enemy army inventing. But using the modern “weapons” that certain groups among supporters brought to fashion wounded that old code of pride. Supporters act and react with passion and passion always used to be a neighbor of violence. We do believe in the strength of supporting our team at anytime and any place and we only fight for this in a code of honor.
11) Has your club political tendencies?
Our club will be always opened for all types and characters that accept our rules and love our team. Our purpose is to unite people under our emblem and our colors, people from different classes, with different fortune and different believes. The team is above all and the members of the club as long as they respect the rules can believe anything in other spiritual parts.
Thanks to Monsters for this interview.
(Article updated 01.01.2012)