Fans kick back for the World Cup: no expectation but lots of loyalty from Aussie fans

HERE WE GO: Members of the Orange Waratahs under 14s (from left) George Formby, Lachlan Tate, Phil Tate, Hannah Lawson and Arlem Evans gear up for this month's World Cup. Photo: NICK McGRATH    0612nmworldcup

HERE WE GO: Members of the Orange Waratahs under 14s (from left) George Formby, Lachlan Tate, Phil Tate, Hannah Lawson and Arlem Evans gear up for this month's World Cup. Photo: NICK McGRATH 0612nmworldcup

RANK outsiders to make any sort of impact at the 2014 World Cup, Australia isn’t feeling the football love like a lot of nations ahead of this morning’s opener between hosts Brazil and football powerhouse Croatia.

But there’s a devout group right here in Orange bucking that trend.

Orange Waratahs under 14s outfit will lead the Australian charge, waking in the early hours of the morning to ride the Socceroos through what many World Cup experts are predicting to be this cup’s pool of death.

Grouped in Pool B, Australia tackles Chile at 8am (AEST) on Saturday morning before rolling the dice against soccer superpowers Netherlands and Spain, the two sides that contested the final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, in their next two games.

Against all odds, Waratahs coach Phil Tate said he was not surprised his team was backing the national outfit.

“No, I think people definitely will,” Mr Tate said, with Australia playing the Dutch at 2am AEST on June 20 before rounding out what this group of Tahs juniors hopes will be an undefeated pool stage with another 2am AEST clash against reigning champions Spain on June 24.

“I think people follow Australia no matter where they play. People will be getting up to watch for sure,” Mr Tate said.

Amid all the Ricky Martin-esque fanfare that accompanies the biggest sporting event on the planet, hosts Brazil and Croatia kicked off the 2014 World Cup this morning at Sao Paulo.

Mr Tate said it was easy to get wrapped up in the hysteria surrounding the event.

“I think it just promotes great football,” he said.

“Let’s be honest, it’s the best of the best.

“I think people get wrapped up in the Cup. It’s the best 32 teams in the world.”

Planning on watching the Socceroos play Chile? Email a photo of you and your friends and family watching the game to david.neil@fairfaxmedia.com.au and we'll add it to our 'Orange's World Cup Fever' gallery.

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