Pop quiz: Which Hamilton-based bassist will be giving his best rally cry during Forge FC matches? Answer? Why, Nick Dika from ARKELLS, of course. The JUNO-winning bassist is an official Inaugural Co-Founder of Forge FC and a true soccer fan at heart. Having been educated on the English Premier League via Tottenham Hotspur, Nick is now looking for a team to cheer on in his own backyard. Ahead of Forge FC's return to Tim Hortons Field on Wednesday night (vs. Pacific FC, 7:00 p.m. ET on OneSoccer) we caught up with the ARKELLS' bassist, while he toured Canada last month. The Spurs-turned-Forge fan tells us what make Hamilton a soccer hotbed and why you should come with a tenner in your wallet. How did you first get into soccer? Nick Dika: I've slowly grown to become a soccer fan. My university roommate at McMaster was a huge soccer fan; he loves it and is a Tottenham fan. And as I lived with him over the years, I got more and more into it, watched more and more EPL games, I was always asking him questions and trying to learn more about the game. And it got to the point where, you know, I got comfortable telling him we could paint the house blue and white [Spurs colours] if they ever win the treble. But yeah, how I got into it was through him and I own a sports bar here in town, so you know, having gotten involved in that, plus playing soccer on weekend mornings and then going to brunch. How did you then transition from Spurs to become a Forge fan? Nick Dika: In terms of Forge FC, I love the community and the fandom around soccer that doesn't exist in other sports. I am a huge baseball fan, but you don't have that same sense of community and supporters clubs – it just seems a great marriage between a sport that I love and a community event, a way to participate and have fun. What makes being a Hamilton fan so special? Nick Dika: The character and experience around sports in Hamilton. It's just a really great city to come and watch anything. There's a ton of great restaurants, it's a walkable and bike-able city, and the atmosphere is great. Our stadium is right in the middle of a residential area, so it feels like it's almost like going to Wrigley Field. It's a really cool experience and a really cool community feel that doesn't exist in other cities. Also ... you can get more food for $9 in Hamilton than any other city in the CPL. Other than good eats, what are you most excited for the start of the season (and the CPL)? Nick Dika: I'm just excited to see soccer in Hamilton again. There was a Canadian women's friendly that was held here last year and it did really well and it was a lot of fun to watch that. But before that, there wasn't much, so I am just looking forward to having professional soccer here. Finally, what's your message for the Forge or a piece of opening day advice for the team? Nick Dika: Enjoy it! Everyone there is really excited and proud and I can't wait for all the fun that comes with a new soccer team. Nick will be cheering on his new beloved Forge FC when not on tour this summer with ARKELLS. The band will be playing concerts and festivals around Canada, the USA, and Europe this summer, including a Toronto gig at Budweiser Stage in June and the StagEX Music Festival in Lethbridge in August. Additionally, ARKELLS are also playing Y Not Festival in Pikehall, England, which is just a mere 3 hours away, via the M1, from Tottenham's White Hart Lane.

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