It’s not very often that the club travels east to play football, certainly a game that doesn’t involve flying anyway. That’s exactly what happened last week though, when the champions of Wales went head-to-head with their counterparts in England. Like previous games with the likes of Everton and Middlesbrough that I’ve been to, it was at the training ground as opposed to the matchday stadium.
However, as with the aforementioned clubs, the facilities were still very impressive. The welcome was very friendly and I enjoyed the visit, even if the 1-2 reversal on the pitch wasn’t in the script. However, every cloud has a silver lining and in spite of a very late winner for Leicester, the overall TNS performance was very good.
As far as I’m aware, it was the first visit to the site for all of us, with the exception of Tom Matthews. In fact it was his third, having been there previously with Norwich City and QPR. Like the other two signings so far this summer, Jon Routledge and Steve Saunders, he brings a quality pedigree to the club.
I say ‘so far’ not with any inside knowledge, but simply because the transfer window is still open after all, so you never know. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the manager of a full-time professional club or the guy running a Sunday league team, if you ask them about signings they will all say that if the right person becomes available they will be interested.
As well as posting photographs on the club Facebook and Twitter account, my role was tweeting match updates. Due to usually being on TNS Radio, it’s not very often that I get to tweet live during a game. If you do follow the club updates then it’s press officer, Gilbert Woolley, who does that. On the rare occasions I am able to tweet though, I enjoy it very much.
Although I’m into my third full season at the club, I’ve never lost sight of the fact that I used to be an ‘anonymous’ fan sitting in the stand behind the goal. When I first got involved and was given the password for the Twitter account, Facebook page, website etc I felt humbled at the trust that was placed in me. Needless to say, even if I do so myself, that faith has never been taken for granted.
I do feel very privileged but with privilege comes responsibility. It is an honour to be involved with the club and whether it’s interviewing for the weekly podcast, commentating on a WPL game or something as ordinary as composing a basic tweet, it’s all of equal value in that context.
In fact, my own personal TNS journey is very much a calling. No matter how exciting it is to be involved in the world of football, once the honeymoon period wears off, you’d still get fed up of the travelling for one. I used to measure my commitment in how many times I did the equivalent of John O’Groats to Land’s End every month. Now, believe it or not, I’m on my third circumference of the earth.
The passion keeps bubbling away though and as the days counted down to the new Dafabet Welsh Premier League season I was as excited as any kid on Christmas Eve. The big day arrived in due course, and following a church service in the morning in the Black Country, I arrived at Park Hall with an hour to go before kick off.
The season got off to a good start with three points on the board, and following a number of draws elsewhere, it leaves TNS as only one of three clubs with a 100% record after just one game. The scoreline of 2-1 also meant that Glyn Berrington, Kelly Caudill, Caroline Glynn and Darren Lamble all #BeatTheBelle.
Cortez went for 4-0, and although he was getting excited at one stage, sadly for him it wasn’t to be. This coming Saturday he goes for a 2-0 TNS win on the road at Llandudno. What do you think? Send your prediction to: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to seeing you at the game but if you can’t make it, enjoying your company on TNS Radio instead.