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Expat fans become TV stars

By CHRIS WRIGHT

One of Portugal’s top television companies, TVi, filmed the expat fans as they prepared for their trip to Lisbon last week.

The Portuguese footballing community cannot understand why so many expat fans – there are now over 200 registered followers – would support a provincial town team when so many of the local population are Benfica or Sporting Lisbon devotees.

But it is not only about football. The whole cultural experience with the Olhanense fans, players and management is one that once savoured is never forgotten. Friendships have been forged that will last a life time.

The TV cameras started to roll the day before the big game as the expats donned the club shirts and tracksuits.

After a briefing and tactical talk in the spacious changing rooms, from ‘manager’ for the day Chris Wright, the elderly primates jogged out on to the pitch.

Five ‘takes’ later, as some were wilting from their exertions, the director was satisfied and another part of the 15 minute epic production was in the can!

Filming stopped for lunch when news came through that the England and Portugal/Spain bids for The 2018 World Cup had failed miserably as FIFA awarded the finals to Russia.

Even this news could not dampen the enthusiasm of the team as the cameras continued to roll. TVi stayed with the fans on match day all the way through to the final whistle.

The edited version was due to be screened nationwide earlier this week and will be available, in due course, for viewing on YouTube.