Pair of fans from down under make trek to cheer on Winnipeg Jets

A pair of Winnipeg Jets fans made a long trek to cheer on their favourite team as they took on the Carolina Hurricanes Monday night.

Alan Jabs and James Newman both call Australia home and are both fans of the Winnipeg Jets. The two don’t know each other back home and it’s just by happenchance that they are at the same game.

This contest is quite a milestone for Newman and his journey as a Jets fan, as it’s the first time he is watching his favourite team live.

“Just the whole experience, how this city takes to the team, supports the team. The skill on the ice. I can barely walk down an icy street let alone skate, so it’s all pretty impressive and new to me. So I’m pretty excited to see it all, really,” said Newman.

Meanwhile, Jabs has been visiting Winnipeg for several years and when the Jets came back to the city he immediately jumped to be part of the fan base.

“I guess early years when the Jets weren’t in town, that’s pre-2011, I guess I supported a lot of other teams, Vancouver being one them because it was an easy access point for Aussies to come up into Canada, and there are a lot of Australians who live in Vancouver. But Jets came here, my friend lives here, they needed supporters; here I am,” said Jabs.

It’s not hard to find a Jets fan in Winnipeg or Manitoba, but in Australia it’s a bit of a different circumstance.

“Nobody outside of my local sports (group) understands what the Jets are until I put my jersey on or t-shirts on then they ask the questions. So I guess we are a minority, but we still support the team.”

While the weather down under might be just a tad nicer than it is here in Winnipeg, both say they enjoy experiencing the snow and taking in everything Winnipeg has to offer.

“It’s a real treat for me to see snow on the street and put a toque on as you guys say. I’m really enjoying it. I don’t think I could do it every day and get up at six o’clock and go to work in this but as a tourist it’s been really fun,” said Newman.

Jabs said he is already looking at finding time to come next season while Newman is hoping one day he can make it back here for another trip

“I can’t believe how well I have been welcomed into the Jets’ community and just the City of Winnipeg,” said Newman.

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