Schalker International: Ciarán Carlin
In the first edition of ‘Schalker International’, a new series where we’ll meet Royal Blues fans from all over the globe, we caught up with British supporter and YouTuber Ciarán Carlin.
Hi Ciaran, first of all, how did you become a Schalke fan?
It’s a bit of an odd one, I’ve always somewhat liked Schalke purely based on their kits – but it wasn’t until 2018 that I started to follow and watch them properly. I used to work at a YouTube channel called FootballDaily and they have a football quiz show, and I was always awful on it because I only ever knew about Manchester City – I’ve been a City fan since birth, so I asked the viewers what team I should follow elsewhere in Europe for a season. I wanted to broaden my knowledge a little bit. Out of four options, the viewers picked Schalke! Admittedly, I did choose Schalke as one of the four, in the hope they’d pick them…
Can you remember the first game you watched on TV?
I think it must’ve been the opening game of the 18/19 season – we lost 2-1 to Wolfsburg. Not a brilliant game by any means, but it didn’t put me off at all!
Do you have a favourite S04 match?
Dortmund 2-4 Schalke 04. I was out shopping with my girlfriend but I had notifications on my phone and seeing my phone ping four times with goal notifications for Schalke was crazy, especially as it effectively ended Dortmund’s title hopes. That was very nice.
I've always somewhat liked Schalke purely based on their kits.
What do you love about the club? What makes S04 special?
It just feels very welcoming and I really love the German football culture a great deal. It still feels very much for the fans compared to here in the UK. I also feel a connection to the club in the sense it feels similar to supporting Manchester City growing up; an occasionally turbulent experience but a fun ride nonetheless! Anything can happen.
What’s it like supporting Schalke in the UK? Have you managed to convert any of your friends into Royal Blues yet?
Thankfully, Bundesliga coverage is getting better and better here, most Schalke games seem to make it onto TV, so I’m very lucky. I haven’t converted any of my friends yet. I do have one mate who quite likes Kaiserslautern, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to convert him. The FootballDaily fans still remind me on Twitter of Schalke results (good or bad), so I may have managed to convert some of them at least.
You seem to have a big collection of Schalke kits. What’s your favourite all-time S04 kit?
The 1997-98 black third kit with the blue band across it. I’m desperate to add that one to my collection.
What about your favourite player?
It’s a toss up between Amine Harit and Ahmed Kutucu. As soon as Harit gets on the ball I’m just expecting something positive to happen; he’s really good watch. I’m also convinced Kutucu is going to be such a great player for us, so I’m always excited to see him start.
One player (past or present) you would love to see play for Schalke…
If we rule out Messi and Ronaldo obviously, I (maybe controversially) would love Sané or Neuer to return one day – I’m an absolute sucker for a returning player. A hopeless football romantic.
Have you ever been to Gelsenkirchen or Germany? Do you have any plans to go in the future?
I have not! I was hoping to go to Berlin this year before the pandemic, but have put those plans on hold for now. I was also hoping to make a trip to Gelsenkirchen to watch a game as well but, that looks like it’s on hold too. I’ll get there one day and I’ll make sure I learn all the chants in German before I arrive!
Finally, why would you recommend supporting Schalke?
It’s incredibly unpredictable. You’ll love it.