If you’ve been a regular listener to TNS Radio in recent weeks then you’ll be familiar with the name – not to mention the voice of – Sam Wood. He has also been working on matchday social media and has been doing a great job, not only the actual output but also buying into the ethos of what we are building from a media perspective. Below, in his own words, is Sam’s story to date.
Despite it being almost two and a half months since joining The New Saints’ media team, it still feels like yesterday when I attended my first match – a 3-0 win against Connah’s Quay Nomads on the 18th of December.
But you’d need to go all the way back to July of 2013 to find my first association with the club. On the off chance I noticed that TNS were involved in a Champions League tie against Legia Warsaw, played at Wrexham’s Glyndwr Racecourse Stadium, so I went down to watch. I enjoyed the game and the atmosphere so much that I followed the team’s results ever since.
I attended matches infrequently in the years that followed until the spring of last year (2017) when, as part of my sports journalism degree at Staffordshire University, I was required to find an interesting story and produce a project. This was a few weeks after The New Saints has broken the Guinness World Record for most consecutive wins, previously held by Ajax.
I decided that this is what I would choose and contacted Stewart at the club who invited me to come down and film the training session, as well as interview several of the first team players. While there he also mentioned that there could be the potential of possible work experience at the club somewhere down the line, and knowing that I would need to find some as part of my degree the following year, I kept this in mind.
A few months later I got back in contact with Stewart and asked whether the work experience would be possible, to which he agreed and allowed me to help out as part of the media team, initially for five matches. As I mentioned earlier, my first match was the December home clash with Connah’s Quay.
That night I was introduced to all of the club’s media outputs, some of which included creating matchday line-up graphics, setting up the radio equipment and the process for interviews and how to get them onto the team’s YouTube channel.
And in the next few months, one game quickly became two, two became four etc, and I’ve now covered 13 matches as a member of the media team. Despite initially being there for 5 games, I was invited to remain on-board, meaning I had the chance to cover the Nathaniel MG Cup Final. I’ve also had the chance to visit grounds like Bala’s Maes Tegid and Aberystwyth’s Park Avenue, places I would most likely have never seen, was it not for my involvement, and provided the chance to tick a few more stadiums off the ground hopping list.
Joining the media team has given me the opportunity to work in the world of sports media, which has been an aim of mine for a long time. I’ve no doubt that the next but also final 10 games of the season will be just as entertaining and enjoyable as the first 13. Especially as TNS are sitting on a comfortable lead at the top of the JD Welsh Premier League and looking to both, win a seventh consecutive title, and ensure a place in the Champions League Qualifying rounds once more.