The Experience- It Was Vital
Today was the day. Birmingham at home, not a fixture usually bookmarked as crucial or one that involved this much anxiety, but today was a special occasion. The Manchester City Press box- it has a certain ring to it, something I could really get used to and all-in-all it was a fantastic coup for Vital.
I woke up that particular morning with a fresh feeling, expecting the best out of a tremendous afternoon, who else wakes up at 10am for a 4pm kick off? However, Sunday was too be a very productive day. A sense of urgency was around, I had to prepare efficiently and professionally, I wanted to make a good impression, after all this could possibly be a great breakthrough for Vital as well as me.
After walking down stairs, white shirt, jeans and ready as can be I collected the paper, The Sunday Times full of interesting information to keep me up to date. I packed my bag with the essentials; my microphone, pen and paper, laptop and camera were all crammed in. It was almost 1pm and I set off, drove down by my dad, who unfortunately had to prepare for the pre-match build-up alone for an alarming three hours.
Nevertheless, I got there around 1.30 and ambled round to entrance S, I`m usually sat in block A so this was unfamiliar territory. After reaching my destination I approached a member of the media team to find out what I required and where I had to be situated. On arrival I was handed a media pack, an excellent piece of kit with full detailed stats of the Premier League as well as a match programme. No wonder all the pundits are so witty when reading off the great detailed stats from the stats team.
I was directed to the press lounge where I would divulge this information given to me as well as give the thumbs up to the Vital team that everything was going OK. I`d been sat down a good 30 minutes when I was approached by Tim Oscroft, a member of the Official Site team. Tim was extremely helpful, alerted by the fact as I was from Vital he was keen to find out more, very pleasant and forward he gave me a good analysis of the players and what it was like working on the site- it sounded brilliant if I may say so. Furthermore, I was directed to my seat, shown how to set-up and most importantly made to feel very welcome.
All the other media sources were gathered in the same area, I distinctly remember being sat directly in front of Radio5 Live as well as The Chinch and Matt Haslam from Key103. In the distance was Ian "Cheesy" Cheesman and the respective journalists from BBC GMR. As I sat down and prepared myself for the match, I was given the team sheet and unexpectedly the great news a complimentary pie would be received at half time. When waiting for the match to begin I thought this would be a great opportunity to take some much needed photos, the VMC Press Pass was a must as well as a personal photo sat in my little studio area.
The match was underway, I was taking my short hand notes and watching City hopefully earn a much needed 3 points. The crowd was electric on this fine afternoon, resisting the temptation to join in with Bluemoon as well as other classics was tough going but I managed it no end.
The chances were few and far between to begin with but suddenly the match burst into life. What a game to be in the Press Box, the goals were flooding in, our play was admirable and I was thoroughly enjoying the experience. As Half time approached I decided this would be a great moment to make key notes that I could add to my report, in hindsight this was a good decision, speeding up the match report dramatically.
The second half continued in the same vein, I was watching another great game at Eastland`s and everyone surrounding me looked very pleased. The small matter of producing my Match report as well as packing up and leaving was still yet to come, however, I would be putting off the leaving as much as possible.
As I packed up and left I walked down to the tunnel thanking Tim Oscroft for his help as well as taking the time to hear about Vital. I didn`t manage to see any players but this experience was vital and I know this will undoubtedly ease my worries in the future.
Finally, I walked out of entrance S to be greeted by my dad, I told him about the unbelievable day and we headed home.
Thanks to Phil, Dave, Simon Heggie, Tim Oscroft and other members of the Manchester City team for making this possible. It was a remarkable opportunity and I am very grateful I got the chance.