Some people spend their entire lives, searching for a hobby they enjoy so much they want to make a career out of it, for me it used to be music, then acting, then sport & now, the subject I’m finally settled on – sports journalism.
Ever since jumping that wall in rain swept Barrow, I’ve had the taste. I thought the taste had gone sour & my dreams had faded when it all ended in November, but the second change saloon slung open its doors to re-wet my pallet in February & now, having progressed so far – I know this is what I want to do forever.
I’m so excited for this pre-season the wait is unbearable, I’ve studied the way people act when going cold turkey – my anguish of having no football to report on is very close to theirs, in fact had I not been hosting the mid-morning show on Takeover for the past few weeks, my anguish & pain would have been far worse from the cracked up piss heads I’ve studied!
I’m looking forward to seeing the new look stags in action; in Paul Cox we have a manager with ambition, desire, knowledge & patience to bring the club success. The majority of the players he’s brought in don’t seem to get us all drooling with excitement yet they have the same qualities the manager has plus a little bit more – I’m desperate to see this mixture make its way onto the pitch & assess the players & style of football we’ll be seeing in the coming months.
I can’t wait to cast my eye over every new face and also see what affect the new faces have on the old ones from the class of 2010-11. I’m eager to see the coaching style of Cox, Moore & Todd during the warm ups & get an indication as to whether I’ll need a neck brace to watch several long ball games, or if I’ll need a waterproof microphone – watching my favourite fast paced stylish passing style of football.
The pre-season schedule is sorted in terms of radio coverage, I’m no longer waiting by the phone unsure what I’ll be doing – waiting is the hardest part of anything, especially when the ball is not in your court. The fact I will be commentating on the games helps my desire to make this dream become a permanent reality – I have my story with the Wembley commentary, but that had a sad ending, it’s time to write the next chapter.
I love Mansfield Town through & through, however had I not been commentating or working within the media during the pre-season schedule; I wouldn’t have attended the games. My reason is clear, I want to make the journalism thing work out for me, which (had there been no Takeover coverage) would have meant working as a freelancer covering different games up & down the UK.
I’ve lost a few of my dearest friend’s respect for admitting this, that hurts but in truth, I don’t belong in a bar at 1.30 on a Saturday afternoon followed by a blurry vision of the football come kick off. There’s nothing wrong with doing that of course & I will treasure the time I spent doing it, but as a wise girl once said to me ‘if something doesn’t feel right, walk away. If something does feel right – then go for it’ I feel I belong in the press box, trying to juggle a microphone, biro & team sheet in one hand, whilst trying to work a laptop, drink tea, eat a biscuit with the other & change the batteries to the audio recording kit with the other!
I feel I’m different from other journalists, I don’t have qualifications, I’ve not spent a few years at Uni & I don’t have excellent grades, I’m an average Joe who should be like a fish out of water, I tell things how they are & try to throw a few ‘funnies’ in for good measure – in reality, I’m trying to break that gap & the stereotype between fan & broadcaster.
How many times have you been watching a game on the telly and found yourself saying ‘what does he know about football anyway’ about the commentator? How many times have you disagreed with what’s been said or not been able to view things in the same way? I try to incorporate that into my commentary; I say on air what I’d be saying to my friends (just without the slurred words & occasional bad language!), I think about what I’d be thinking stood with my football top on in the terraces & put those views across on air. I remember what it was like sat at home not being able to get to a game, frustrating, disappointing & far from relaxing. I seem to think that if I paint a picture, listeners can picture themselves at the ground, if I say my ‘fan thoughts’ they become more relaxed & enjoy the whole thing more – by the end of it, it’s almost like they didn’t miss the match at all.
The satisfaction of brightening someone’s day by doing this makes me happy – that’s why I can’t wait for that feeling to come back next Saturday as I head for Rainworth MW. All I ask of you is, just enjoy what I do – if you don’t then there really is no point.
Each & every signing Paul Cox has made has been jotted down in the notebook, every press release is printed out & on hand for quotes as & when I need them, I’ve done my homework to fill the gaps & help myself improve as a journalist. There’s always one fan that can answer the questions that stump the others – I want that knowledge with me in the press box, that ability to know the answers at the click of the fingers is vital & will hopefully help you enjoy the coverage even more.
The notebook only cost me £1.48 from WH Smith, but throughout pre-season & indeed the season itself should Takeover stay afloat, it will be the most valuable thing I own! A pen & paper is too often taken for granted, just one or two words that look like they make no sense what so ever can spark a memory which will make perfect sense & complete the jigsaw.
Of course waiting for pre-season is not as agonising as waiting for the season itself, I don’t believe the term ‘friendly’ there is ALWAYS something to win. A game is a game, there’s ALWAYS a WINNER & ALWAYS a LOSER – what you are when the final whistles blown just depends on how you look at things!
I know it’s going to be the same for you, weather the reasons seeing fellow fans, getting out of isle 6 at ASDA or just to put THAT defeat behind us, everyone has a reason to get back to football. Mine is to commentate and feel at home & happy once more. Add to commentating, the podcast editing (yes the commentary podcast will return) & blog writing, my anticipation for the beautiful game gets stronger & stronger by the second – Just 7 days until that relief arrives!
The fixtures for the league season are out Tuesday, join me on Takeover Radio 106.9FM to share your thoughts & comments as we find out where it all starts & against which team we will be crowned BSBP champions 2011-12! (Follow the link at the bottom of the blog to listen online)
Stags shirt ready! Bring on the Biros, bring on battery changes, bring on the cold tea & dry biscuits, bring on the team sheet & microphone juggling, bring on the thrill of commentating – bring on, the beautiful game.
FC Halifax Town
If you can’t make it to any of the pre-season fixtures, fear not as I’ll be providing full match commentary on the away fixtures, plus updates from the home games on Takeover Radio 106.9FM or online http://takeoverradio.net/Media/Media_Player.html