Ben Jorgensen is an 18-year-old from Albury and he has followed Western United everywhere since the club’s inception.
Following United's match against Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand in May, Ben has completed every single away trip in the A-League across the last two seasons.
Ben had been eyeing off the Phoenix fixture all season in the hope that the opportunity to go to Wellington would open up, with COVID restrictions up until now seeing the New Zealand club set up camp in Wollongong.
“Away days are always an experience, you see new things, experience new places, you take that plunge and away you go, you get hooked on it,” Ben said.
“I knew we had to play Wellington away one more time, whenever I looked at the fixtures, and I’d hoped our game would be in New Zealand."
In what has been a gruelling season for players and staff alike at the club, the importance of fan support has not gone unnoticed.
And this is something that rings true to Ben, who always tries to ensure that he is behind the team.
“There’s that social side, and going and making sure that the team knows – even if it’s just me or just a handful of as at an away game – that we’re right behind them."
Ben even jumped at the opportunity to follow the team to Tasmania in April, completing a visit to every Australian state in which the club has played this season.
In total, Ben has travelled approximately 26,729km to support the team throughout the 2020/21 A-League season.
This is the equivalent of 67% of the earth’s circumference, the length of 255 football pitches, or the distance between the club’s training ground at City Vista Sports Complex and the club's head office in Truganina, multiplied by 1,965.
But most importantly out of all of this, Ben has found a community of people in Western United, a valued member of the Western Service Crew, and the club has been part of his life during all the ups and downs.
“It’s very important to me. This club, it’s got me through some hard times personally,” he said.
“I’ve been in some dark places, and just to know that I’ve got the club itself, and everyone attached to it from the staff at the club to the Western Service Crew.
“To know that I’ve got all those people there who are there for me, it means a lot.”
Ben brings his friends along whenever he can and encourages new members to join the community, and he says they almost always enjoy the experience and the active support.
Unfortunately for the club, Ben will have less opportunity to support the team from next season as he embarks on a fantastic opportunity in the army as an aircraft handler.
While his presence in the stadiums will be sorely missed, Ben will most definitely continue to support the club from home and will remain an important part of the Western United family.