On Saturday 1st September I was invited to go to the BT Local Business Stadium to watch Sheffield FC play King’s Lynn Town and write the match report for the programme and official website.
As some of you may have guessed, my dream is to become a football reporter in the future. I begin my A Levels this year and I had been looking for opportunities to gain some early experience in match reporting when Stuart James kindly invited me to go and report on Sheffield FC’s home league game against high flying Kings Lynn Town, which would be featured on both the official website and the official match programme for the following home game.
I was very excited about getting the chance to report on my first competitive football match for a site other than my own. I have been writing match reports on my site, ryan147.com, since 2009 and I have always enjoyed doing this so when the opportunity came to report for Sheffield FC I jumped at the chance.
I arrived at the BT Local Business Stadium around an hour and a half before kick off and I was given a tour of the ground. The stadium is in a beautiful setting in Dronfield, which is actually just outside of Sheffield! I was shown the dressing rooms, the sponsors lounge and walked all around the ground while being told a little bit of history about the stadium which Sheffield FC moved in to in 2001. While I have visited the home of Sheffield FC on 5 separate occasions, I had never seen the behind the scenes areas of the ground so it was interesting to see these places and also learn more about the club in the process.
Stuart introduced me to many of the people who work for the club. Most of these people work as volunteers and I must say that they do a wonderful job to make sure everything runs smoothly on a matchday. Sheffield manager Curtis Woodhouse, who played for Sheffield United and Birmingham City amongst other clubs before becoming a professional boxer, came and spoke to me briefly and he was very friendly and welcoming. He asked me what my prediction for today’s game was and I told him 2-0 to Sheffield. Curtis had his doubts but it later turned out that my prediction was correct!
After completing my tour of the ground, I was allowed to go and take some photos of the stadium before getting the opportunity to do a pre-match interview with Curtis Woodhouse. He told me how the beginning of the season had been “a mixed bag” and “I don’t think anyone could argue if we had come away from our opening 3 games with 9 points”. The job at Sheffield FC is Curtis’ first managerial job and he also told me that “it is good to get a bit of everything in my early career as a manager”.
As kick off approached I went and took up my position next to the dugouts, armed with my programme, team sheets and of course my reporters notepad!
The players made their way on to the pitch a few minutes before the 3 o’clock kick off time and they were greeted by a huge cheer from the 329 supporters, including many travelling fans from Kings Lynn Town.
The game was very entertaining and action packed, with the home side winning 2-0 despite Kings Lynn hitting the woodwork 3 times!
I had a great view from my position next to the dugout. I stood with Stuart, who often writes the match reports for Sheffield FC and he gave me some great tips throughout the game about which areas of the match to write about and sports reporting in general. From where I was stood I could also hear everything that was going on in the home dugout which gave me a very interesting insight, something you never get at the higher levels of football.
After the game, I was given the opportunity to do some more interviews with people involved with the club. I spoke to the Sheffield FC chairman, Richard Tims, who told me that his plans for the club in the future are “promotion…and world domination!” before going on to tell me about his plans to get the club more involved with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
For post match interviews, I chatted to manager Curtis Woodhouse and club captain Anton Foster. Curtis was visibly pleased, telling me that “I’m delighted with the victory and the three points”. He also told me that he “isn’t someone who criticises referees”. That’s not what it sounded like from the dugout during the game! Curtis’ final word was “the main target this season is obviously promotion. The club have never been promoted from this division in their history and so it’d be great to reach that goal.”
Anton Foster, who had received my vote for man of the match, told me “It’s a great 3 points for the team and I am very excited about the upcoming season for Sheffield FC”. He didn’t seem as impressed with his performance as I did though, telling me that he “could have done better” before going on to say “the main thing is the lads all pulled together”.
After the final interviews I set off home and wrote my match report, which you can see on the official website and in the programme of the next home game.
I would like to thank everyone at Sheffield FC for inviting me to the club. I really enjoyed my first experience in football match reporting and I would definitely do a report at the BT Local Business Stadium again. A special thanks to Curtis Woodhouse, Anton Foster and Richard Tims for agreeing to do interviews and also to Stuart James who invited me to the game, gave me a lift to the ground and gave me some good tips on my football reporting.
To read my full match report from the game on the official website, click HERE
Sheffield FC 2–0 King’s Lynn Town
Weir ’34, Woolley ’77 (Pen)Draper, Turner, Weir (Gregory ’72), Knowles, Hadfield, Burrell, Roney, Foster, Powell (Wall ’81), Stephens (Williams ’57), Woolley Street, Watson, Yong, Fryatt, Gulliver, Bunting (Turner ’62), Spriggs (Hughes ’62), Quigley, Dunkley (Beaumont ’76), Forshaw, Thurlbourne Attendance: 329