The season is over (thankfully!) and the Transfer season is not open yet, even if you can read about all kind of names linked to our team (be careful, trust the right website out there, just like our!!!). these are not good reasons to stop our series of interviews around the neroazzurro World! I thought, since we got this amazing CL qualification, let’s stay in Europe this week, and thanks to Ian Kerr, President and founding member of the Inter Club Belfast, we can find out more about their newborn club!
PS: we recorded this interview before the Empoli game.
When and how was your club created?
Our club is one of the newer ones to join the Inter Club family with us being granted official status on 30 November 2018.
Who created the club? What’s your story?
Myself and two others founded the club, Mark McDermott (general secretary) and Mark Douglas (treasurer). We were initially in contact through social media where we decided we wanted to try to start an Inter Club in Northern Ireland. Along with Inter’s help on Twitter we were able to gain enough interest to grab the number of members needed to officially start the club.
How many members did you have at the beginning and how many now?
This is our first season together, so far we have 26 senior members and two junior members.
How often do you meet up and where?
We meet up at Lavery’s bar in Belfast City center. There have been 5 or 6 meet ups this season so far but we plan to make it a more regular occurrence in the future.
How often do you go to San Siro (as a club)?
We haven’t attended San Siro as a club yet but we have had members at the recent matches vs Lazio and Milan. We will also have 4 members attending the upcoming Derby D’Italia vs Juve.
How old is your youngest member? and the oldest?
Our youngest member Sam McDermott is 12 years old and our oldest member Eamon McFlynn is 65 years old.
Do you have a particular story you would like to share?
Our first unofficial meet up was on my 35th Birthday on 29 September 2018. My wife Debbie made me a San Siro cake which our members enjoyed after Inter’s 2-0 win vs Cagliari. We had a fantastic time and even had some Argentine tourists join us in the celebrations.
How is Inter considered in your country? Is there a preference with other leagues/ teams in general?
Inter are seen as one of the big European teams here but there is a preference for other leagues mainly down to tv coverage. The Epl is very popular here along with the Scottish Premiership, English Championship and La Liga. Unfortunately more and more Juve tops are appearing as fans tend to follow players rather than teams these days, the Ronaldo effect.
Usually at what time are Inter games in your country? does that make it difficult to follow the team? are there any more “important” games played at the same time there?
The time difference here isn’t bad at all compared with other countries with us only being one hour behind Italian time. One problem we do have is if we play on a Saturday afternoon, we can’t watch games because of UK broadcasting laws, which bar live transmissions between 2pm and 5:15pm on a Saturday.
Is there any player from your country that you would like to see at inter?
Not at the minute, no, but we are starting to produce better players and a bigger quantity of players. I would have loved to have seen George Best at Inter. The problem we have is that we don’t have a big player pool to choose from but I wouldn’t rule out a player from these shores making it to Inter in the future as we have produced some of the best sportspeople in the world despite our country being very small.
What represents Inter for you?
Inter represents emotion for me, whether it be the soul-crushing lows or the heavenly highs. It’s also important to me that we are an International club and open to all. Much like our club in Belfast, we are bringing people together that would never have been around each other due to the legacy of the ‘troubles’ in our country. I believe in Inter above all and for all.
Is there a particular player linked to your club or that you would like to have as a guest?
No, we don’t have a player linked to our club as yet. I think everyone would say Javier Zanetti but we would be honored for any of our ex-players or current squad to visit us.
Is there a special tradition within the club?
Not as yet but we are planning an end of season dinner for our members after we watch the last match of the season vs Empoli.
Are you linked with any other Inter Club or would you like to?
We are friendly with our neighbors to the south, Inter Club Dublin, and across the Irish Sea with Inter Club London. In the future, we would like to visit these clubs in particular due to their proximity to us. We would also extend an invitation to our fellow Interisti to join us as well.
What is the craziest thing a member of your club has done for an Inter game?
A. Nothing crazy per se as yet but rumor has it one of the guys involved in the infamous Holy Vespa incident is located here in Belfast so maybe we will revisit that question in the future lol.