We are 45 days away from the FC Edmonton season opener and 53 days away from their home opener. With the team and the league starting anew, this is part two of a series showing the faces of some of their most rabid fans who found themselves home in the River Valley Vanguard (RVV). The RVV is the name of the Eddies Supporters Group. The RVV are wonderful human beings who do a marvelous job being ambassadors of the sport of soccer in Edmonton. In today’s foursome of gentleman, we have the first ever season ticket holder to the Canadian Premier League (CPL) version of the Eddies, a superfan turned employee, a podcast co-host, and someone who was a season ticket holder to the Drillers and Aviators.

Dave Cholewa

I’m the first born of Polish immigrants, and so soccer was always a given as being a fan of, however, the lack of regular tv coverage made it pretty inaccessible for a while. I fondly remember watching tape delays of Poland’s World Cup games back in 2002 in my elementary school. Closer to home, I remember going to the Mini World Cup tournaments in town with my father and brother, and we would be decked out in Polish gear (we’re talking full kit, scarves, even red and white wigs), and we would go out and cheer on the local Polish guys. That was my first exposure to actual supporters culture.

My first taste of FCE was on June 9th, 2013. I was out at The Pint on Whyte with a friend of mine to celebrate my birthday, and in the back room, in a corner by a TV, there were these two dudes (and still current RVV members), just sitting, singing and yelling at the telly, with their FCE and ESG scarves. I went over and asked who they were, what they were watching, and how I could join in the craziness. From there on out, I attended as many games as I could with the ESG. I was still a uni student at the time, so I didn’t get my first season ticket until the 2017 season. In that time tho, I was involved in the ESG finances and organization. I even went as far as traveling to San Francisco to watch an away game.

When it was announced that FCE were seizing operations in November 2017, I was crushed, because FCE was a huge part of my identity. I instantly jumped on board with the group that wanted to bring it back, and was pretty involved in the movement. Luck would have it that because I’m obsessive, I ended up buying the very first membership and season ticket, and was presented with the very first FCE 2.0 scarf on that launch on June 8th, 2018. Flights and accommodations are booked to Winnipeg for the very first game.

Jack O'Brien
I’m Jack! (Grew up with the nickname “Mak” so I answer to both lol) 
I moved to Edmonton 2 years ago from the small town of Youghal, outside Cork City, Ireland. Instantly fell in love with the Eddies but haven’t been a season ticket holder yet   until now that is! Looked to help in anyway I could with YEG4CPL and now ready to support my heart out in the CPL!
The update on Jack since this initial introduction to the RVV is that he is now a ticket monkey, no wait, ticket unicorn for FC Edmonton. Ticket monkey is what I use to call myself when I was an account executive for the Edmonton Rush Lacrosse Club. When I mentioned that term to Eddies GM Jay Ball, he joked that his account reps shall be called ticket unicorns as they make dreams come true. It’s a conversation that never left the pub until now – you had to be there, it was funny. By seasons end, you should all know what Jack’s face looks like.
Adam Huber

My name is Adam. I’ve been drinking and yelling at FCE games since 2011. Not much of a talker but co-host a podcast. I’m a little weird and can be an a-hole on Twitter but I usually mean well. Unless it’s C*lgary.

The Podcast Adam speaks of is the Loyal Company of the River Valley Podcast.

Graham Pretty

I am a huge supporter of Edmonton sports including being a season ticket holder to both the indoor Drillers and the short-lived Aviators. When FC Edmonton came around I just had to be there too. After the first season I realized we had a supporters group that wanted to bring the European atmosphere to Canada; I could not resist. After the entire NASL era, the uncertainty of the year after, and then finally the announcement of “The Return;” my fandom has never wavered. As long as the Eddies are around I will be there chanting and jumping and drinking, the way the support should be.

Stay tuned for the final installment in the trilogy of introductions of RVV faces. Over the series you will meet twelve longtime members of FC Edmonton Supporters Groups but I assure you the list is much longer. I can also assure each of every one of these soccer ambassadors will take the time to help you with any questions about the game of soccer that you might have, it is why I am doing these series of articles.

A Few Faces of the River Valley Vanguard, Part Two
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