Lemnos Primary School teaching principal and avid Dutch soccer fan Jerry Kop's decision to wear orange in the lead up to Netherlands' World Cup match against Australia has been met with disapproval from his students.KENDALL FRASER June 18, 2014 3:53am
Lemnos Primary School principal and Dutch soccer fan Jerry Kop among his Australia-supporting students.
Avid Dutch soccer fan Jerry Kop will be up and decked out in orange in support of his beloved team, who take on Australia at the soccer World Cup early tomorrow morning.
The Lemnos Primary School teaching principal has donned his orange attire at school this week in the lead-up to the big game, despite the disapproval of his 15 students, all of whom are backing the Socceroos.
With his family heritage the root of his passion, Mr Kop said his father had always been into soccer.
His parents immigrated from the Netherlands to Australia in the 1950s, settling at Tralagon, where Mr Kop was born.
‘‘Dad would always back the underdog in the soccer,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve always been interested in the soccer too, and we follow the Dutch across all sports.’’
Mr Kop said he and his whole family would rise early tomorrow to support the Netherlands in the match at the sourthern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, all dressed head to toe in their Dutch colours.
‘‘We usually buy the shirts, scarves and soccer tops and suits to wear when we’re watching the game,’’ Mr Kop said.
‘‘Partly to get in the spirit, but more so because it gives everyone else a laugh.’’
When asked if the Netherlands was in with a chance, Mr Kop was reserved in his response.
‘‘I lost a bet last time when Spain beat Holland,’’ he said.
‘‘I think it would be good if the Dutch won and qualified, but it would be okay if Australia won and qualified too.
‘‘But after that, all bets are off.’’
Mr Kop’s students also have a passion for soccer, and while they won’t be up to watch the game, the young ones were not afraid to speak up about who they thought would win, chanting ‘‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie’’ across the yard.
‘‘Every Wednesday we play soccer, we play against each other, we love to play,’’ one student said.
When asked if Mr Kop plays with them, they all giggled and responded with a ‘‘no’’.
‘‘Last time I played, I fell over, and that was the end of my soccer playing days,’’ Mr Kop said.
‘‘So fingers crossed I can continue to live my soccer joy through Holland having a win on Thursday.’’
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