Planting a Chinese flag in the Urals – a loyal fanbase in the heart of Russia
Source: Club Press-Office
It's no surprise to see small groups of fans rooting for Kunlun at road games: there is scarcely a city in the world without a Chinese community, and happily members of this diaspora have been keen to get along and encourage their compatriots. But it turns out that nobody needs a Chinese passport to support our team – and among our fans we’ve already found an enthusiastic group of Russians.
We first noticed Russian fans waving Kunlun’s banners back in November at our game in Yekaterinburg. Those fans, and those flags, were back to support us in Magnitogorsk on December 10 and by the time we reached Chelyabinsk on January 19 the pattern was clear: among the Urals, a group of Russian hockey lovers has adopted Kunlun Red Star as its team.
Every club exists for its fans, so of course we wanted to find out more about these people and to welcome them into the Kunlun family. A brief meeting on Thursday – brief only because of the time pressures of a one-game road trip – helped club and fan-club get to know each other a little better. It turns out that this small band of travelling fans is headed by a young man who goes by the nickname of ‘Kabachok’ (literally translated, it means a small zucchini; nicknames revel in the obscure). All these Kunlun supporters live in Chelyabinsk, and their group began its activities with journeys to Avtomobilist and Metallurg.
So, is that why Kunlun won in Chelyabinsk after losing in our previous trips to the Urals? Maybe the fates decided to reward our fans with a first victory in their native city. Who can say? Let’s hope our new friends enjoy many more interesting travels and thrilling victories while following Kunlun Red Star. And let’s hope that their ranks increase with every passing moment.