So, the end of the football season is nearly upon us….nine months of trekking up and down the country following your club through thick and thin has nearly passed.

This has always been the case for me, since I was a little boy going along with my dad. But this year has been different, this year has been crazy, and I can’t wait to do it all again next season.

After popping along to a couple of press conferences for various Newsday’s and assignments in the first year of Uni, I contacted Gillingham FC about the possibility of working for the media department on home matchday's. Somehow, I got the gig, and set about getting stuck in, this was back in the sunny days of August.

As I said, I initially signed up just to help the home games, but it’s turned in too much more than that, I’ve done all but four games this season, home and away encluding trips to Plymouth and Hartlepool and Blackpool to Swansea - 7000 miles and one hell of an experience. I've also done variousbehind-the-scenes videos to help improve the supporter engagement. There's no obvios connection between fan engangement and results on the pitch. but for me it must have an impact.

It's been a struggle and we've been too inconsistent to really push for promotiob, but every single game has been an experience. Highlights include whisking Elliott List around the national media after Gillingham beat Cardiff City in the FA Cup third round, we appeared on first on Match of the Day that evening and made the back and front pages of the newspapers the following Sunday. From Radio 5 live to talksport, Listy was the centre of attention. It was surreal and one of them moments I'll never forget.

Then there was Transfer Deadline Day, where Phill, head of media at Gillingham, and I announced signing after signing as the gaffer managed to secure the services of some  high class players. We knew we had the deals wrapped up by 10pm and we set about setting up GIF’s/videos/tweets to help get maximum coverage. We ended that night with over 250,000 interactions across all platforms. Phill described it as the best Deadline Day he has been a part of....I'm sure the next one will be quieter..

Every matchday is a massive buzz and it's genuinely excting having something to look forward to every weekend. Whether it be running the socials, writing the report or doing the post match interviews its always a little bit different.

I can’t recommend enough the importance of getting work and putting your name out there – while the job I do is as much PR as it is Journalism, the people you meet, the contacts you make and the fun you have mean it will stand me in good stead for the future. Sports journalism/ Sports PR is often seen as the easy option, but I think thats a bit of a cop out argument to put forward by someone who hasn't worked in the field. Especailly at lower league level when resources are tight, the people behind the scenes work tirelessly to help imporve the club off the field.

I go on about the Gills an awful lot, but I would thoroughly recommend anyone interested in getting involved in anything like this to get in contact with your local club. Teams always want helpers, and although it might have to be voluntary, you’ll soon find your hooked and it seems that its quite an easy industry to get jobs in. Social media is growing faster than any other platform and if you can specialise in social media, clubs will want you to help out

So, six games to go and on Saturday ill be running the Twitter feed, something that a year ago I wouldnt have even dreamed of!

It's been a hectic season, but I've loved every minute! That said, a sedate days cricket can't come round quick enough. 

 

 

 

7000 miles and a whole lot of memories