TWO winners from a recent Burton Albion press conference competition, got the chance to join the Brewers media team on Saturday for a full behind-the-scenes match day experience.
John Taylor High School’s Georgia Standley and Liam Bryan (both Year 8), won the chance to shadow the Brewers media team for the afternoon, following their fine writing efforts in the pre-match Bristol City press conference.
School pupils came to the press conference as part of the club's contributions to BBC News Day.
After getting the chance to listen to Nigel Clough and Lucas Akins leading up to the game the John Taylor pupils write ups were considered the best.
They were both then rewarded for their fine efforts and impressive writing skills by getting the chance to join us at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday.
Here's what the students thought of their matchday experience.
Georgia Standley – THE DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SPORTS JOURNALIST
On Saturday 10th of March 2018, Burton Albion Football Club awaited a nervous game against Bristol City. At three o’clock they were to walk onto their home pitch in front of 4,575 people. However, long before then, the media team were working hard behind the scenes in order to make the match perfect. I was lucky enough to see what the media team did on that day- before, in between and after the match.
At quarter to one, I collected my ‘access all areas pass’ along with my ticket to the match. I was due to sit with the media team which was amazing! I then visited the media room. This was where the big newspapers and radio stations were preparing for the big day ahead. Soon after that, we journeyed across to the TV gantry. To get there we had to climb up a steep ladder, as this was the place where they filmed the game at a bird's eye view.
Later on, this was where Sky Sports were to film and commentate on the game. It was now quarter to two and it was getting closer and closer to the nervous, ever-awaiting game. When talking to one one of the sports journalists, I heard that today Burton were swapping training sides. The was merely a superstition but it could be the answer to their performance on the pitch. Even more so, the Bristol players walked around the pitch before training, something rarely seen before. As I took my seat, the clock was ticking fast, Three minutes to go. Two minutes to go. One minute to go.
I took my seat with the media team, as a buzz of excitement flew around the fans. Bristol chants filled the stadium whilst the pounding of the Brewers drums raced into the atmosphere. At three o’clock, the game had begun. Bristol City had the starting ball, but five minutes into the game, Lloyd Dyer was sent on as substitute for Burton when Lucas Akins was injured. Soon after, the Brewers were close to scoring and taking an early lead, however it was saved by the Bristol goalkeeper (Frank Fielding). From then on, the ball travels from end to end without a goal in sight. At 15:44, Burton looked in danger but the fans were saved by Tom Naylor (defender) as he made an excellent turn around. At half time, the score was 0-0.
Half time seemed a busy time for the sports journalists. As well as me, they were busily writing up reports ready to send off to their newspapers and radios just ten minutes after the game has finished. Some of them said, to be a journalist you have to be able to write to deadlines and some even learnt to write shorthand.
Fifteen minutes after the first half, the game took off once again. At 16:13, Burton’s Liam Boyce comes off and is replaced by his close teammate Martin Samuelson. Also, at 57 minutes into the game, Bristol- standing strong - just merely miss a goal as the fans watched it fly over the top of the stadium. The game was getting tense, as Jacob Davenport was sent on as substitute for Darren Bent. Then, at three minutes to go, the Brewers narrowly miss a goal. The whistle blew to signal the end of the game. However, they were given an extra three extra minutes, the most important three minutes of the match. In extra time -to the Burton fans delight - Bristol’s captain (Bailey Wright) gets given the first yellow card of the match. Then the last whistle blew. It was equal at 0-0. As the fans departed, Pirelli looked empty again but it was rush hour for the media team.
The once empty media room, was now full to the brim of sports journalists and reporters from all around the town. There were laptops and notepads everywhere and eager faces awaiting the managers, Nigel Clough and Lee Johnson. First to come in was Nigel Clough (from Burton). I found it very interesting to hear the game from a manager's point of view and how he feels about the upcoming games. He said that the next few games are against some big teams - Cardiff and Wolves - and there will be some hard weeks ahead. My experience today was amazing and has really inspired me. I hope the Burton Albion community trust will be doing this in later years and inspire the generations to come.
Liam Bryan – WRITING FOR BURTON, MY LOCAL TEAM
On the 10th of March , 2018, I watched Burton Albion vs Bristol City at the Pirelli Stadium. Today’s game was important for both sides with Bristol City fighting for promotion and Burton Albion fighting to stay in the Championship.
I arrived at the Pirelli Stadium at 12:45pm eager to find out what the day had in store for me. I was accompanied to the stadium by a member of the Burton Albion Community Trust who guided us around the Brewers’ home ground. Firstly we were shown to the hospitality rooms where the scents of a variety of foods could be smelt everywhere, a few famous faces including Tony Cottee and Ben Robinson could be seen in their privates suites, this was my idea of paradise.
I then went into the media room where a few journalists were putting the finishing touches to their preparation for the game. The media room was also where press conferences took place and where Nigel Clough and other players were grilled by the press. After seeing what the media room was like, I finally got to walk out on to the luscious, green Pirelli Stadium turf in front of some fans who got to the ground especially early. I then sat down in my seat in the media area, ready to watch the game. As kick off was approaching, the excitement in the crowd started to build up. Both teams were desperate to get the maximum 3 points. Chants could be heard from both sets of supporters as the teams walked out onto the pitch. It was time for Burton Albion vs Bristol City.
The game was very competitive with either side battling for those precious 3 points. The first chance of the game came in the second minute when Darren Bent’s header forced a save from the Bristol City goalkeeper Frank Fielding. However there was some worrying news for Burton Albion as Lucas Akins was substituted off for Lloyd Dyer because of a hamstring injury. Despite the injury, Burton continued to battle throughout the game. Both sides had chances in the first half but the majority of the positive action came from the Brewers.
The second half came and 11 minutes in there was some more worrying news for Burton Albion as striker Liam Boyce was substituted off for Martin Samuelsen because of an injury. Bristol City started to come back into the game in the second half with Diedhiou, Djuric and Brownhill all having chances on goal. Both managers started to show their frustration as they both wanted those precious 3 points. In the final few minutes, either side had chances to put the game to bed however both teams had to settle for a 0-0 draw. As the full time whistle blew, both managers shook hands with disappointment knowing that their team could have won the game but there were some stand out performances from Bobby Reid, Kyle McFadzean and Stephen Bywater to be proud of for both teams.
After that dramatic, action-packed 90 minutes, I then went back into the media room to observe the press grilling Nigel Clough about the game.
I would just like to say thank you to Burton Albion and the Burton Albion Community Trust for giving me an insight into the world of sports journalism. With sports journalism being the career I would like to follow , to observe sport journalists before, during and after the game was amazing.