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Thursday 17 December 2015

Local history made as FC's team up with Solent Journalists

BA (Hons) Sports Journalism students are hitting the back of the net with their media work at football clubs in Southampton.

More than a dozen current students have taken up press duties at Sholing FC, AFC Totton, Gosport Borough and current FA Cup stars, Eastleigh.

There are four representatives from the course working in the media team at Eastleigh, producing video highlights, social media updates and match reports for each game.

Second Year student, Ben Hooke, said: “It’s such a great opportunity to work at Eastleigh. We got to film the third round draw, so seeing the players’ reactions was cool and we basically had a front row seat at some local history being made.”

Jamie Truslove reporting at a Eastleigh FC event

Third year student Jamie Truslove said: “It’s been fantastic to be part of the Eastleigh’s historic FA Cup run – no-one expected the team to do so well so we feel lucky to be so close to, what’s now, a national story.

“It’s brilliant to have this kind of experience. We’re interviewing some big names, like Gavin Peacock and James Constable, and they know who we are – we’re building up contacts.

“Since we started at Eastleigh last year, the number of Twitter followers has more than doubled from 4,500 to 11,000. I think we’re doing something right.”

Oliver Harvey is at Sholing FC, a Wessex Premier side who lifted the FA Vase at Wembley last year.

Ellie Harries taking notes from the press box

“I co-ordinate Sholing’s media team. This involves putting together a match-day team to produce a preview, match report, interview and video footage for home games,” Oliver explained.

“The University helped me make initial contact with the club – they always provide these opportunities, which is invaluable for students.

“The reaction to my work is good so far and I’ve had compliments from the board, supporters and the Hampshire FA.”

Third year student, Ellie Harries is working at Conference South side Gosport Borough. She said: “I started off taking charge of the social media for the club during games but after two weeks I was asked to take over all match reports.

Oliver Harvey filming from the sidelines

“The Portsmouth News and the Non-League Paper also asked me to write match reports for them too, which is great.

“The reaction from the fans and club has been great. The manager has given me some stick for my work, but compliments me just as much.”

Sports journalism lecturer David Reilly, said: “Interviewing footballers and reporting on matches is the dream job for our sports journalism students, so we’re delighted that so many of our local clubs are taking them on.

“It’s one thing interviewing a student player, but dealing with real players, managers and fans is a real test for a young journalist, so it’s great they’re getting this experience while at university, especially those on the FA Cup rollercoaster at Eastleigh.

“We teach them print, video, audio and social media skills so it’s great to see this all being put into practice – we’re very proud.”