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Four new branches join Official Supporters Club network

Four new branches join Official Supporters Club network
Manchester City welcomed four new branches into its Official Supporters Club family in January 2021.

Jakarta, Milton Keynes, New York based Syracuse Cityzens and Upland Sky Blues in California became the latest groups to affiliate, as our Official Supporters Club network continues to grow around the world.

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With Coronavirus restrictions preventing fans from meeting up as normal, the formation of these branches is a testament to their love of City and the sense of community that creates.

For Michael Stebbins, the Syracuse Cityzens Chairperson, watching City games in upstate New York was the beginning of a new friendship for him, which, two years later, has led to meeting more likeminded Blues.

“The origin of our branch started in May 2019 when I went to Wolff’s Biergarten in Syracuse to watch a City match," he said.

"I didn't know any other supporters at the time. I met Melanie Prasad, another founding member and vice chair of the branch, who invited me to watch the City match with her.

“We got talking and found out we both really loved City and had a lot in common because of that. We became instant friends via our mutual support of City.

“So, I kept on going to Wolff’s almost every weekend that I could, most of the time at Melanie’s behest! From then on, we continued to grow our supporter base to what we have today.

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“Unfortunately, Wolff’s Biergarten has been shut down amid the Coronavirus pandemic and just recently reopened in a limited capacity. In addition, with fear of the virus, we haven’t been able to get together as much as we would like.

“However, we are all looking forward to the day that we can get back to watching City matches regularly.”

The same can be said two and a half thousand miles away in California, where the Upland Sky Blues have been steadily growing.

It was their increased membership which prompted them to become official, whilst a core of their 10 strong group is able to share their love of City throughout the working week.

“Three of the members, including myself, work for an IT company and have decorated our office accordingly,” added Matthew Williams.

“In terms of meeting up, we were getting into the swing of things and more people were starting to come together pre-COVID-19, which is why we wanted to start a supporters club in our area.”

In the UK, conversations on social media led to the formation of the Milton Keynes branch, who have already accumulated 20 members, despite not yet being able to enjoy their first in person meeting.

“Given the lockdown, we haven’t met as a group yet,” explained Dr Ahmad Goheer.

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“It was the lockdown that kind of pushed some of us talking to each other on social media and we decided we needed to organise our own supporters club and connect with others in this region.

“For now, it is mostly my family and friends and some others in the area that I have seen travelling to the Etihad on the train.

“We are in the process of setting up a website for ourselves, along with Twitter and Facebook pages so we can all connect virtually.”

Social media has proved a lifeline in Indonesia, where the Jakarta branch have been sharing the excitement of matchdays together online.

Despite only recently affiliating, the group has been meeting in some form since 2010 and have enjoyed a host of experiences together.

“The Jakarta branch started from a shared vision, mission and love for Manchester City,” said Chairperson, Endri Waluyo.

“Our support has grown over the years and in 2012 we travelled to Malaysia to watch City train ahead of the match against the Malaysian national team.

“The Jakarta branch has become a symbol of unity for fans in the country.

“Although watching the matches together has stopped due to the pandemic, we still share the excitement of watching together via social media.”

To find out more about Jakarta, Milton Keynes, Syracuse Cityzens, Upland Sky Blues, or your local supporters club, visit supportersclubs.mancity.com.

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