Fans of Welsh football will be familiar with Penydarren Boys And Girls Club’s recent JD Welsh Cup run. Of course, as the side progressed in the competition, due to the fact that they play in the fifth tier of Welsh football, the media attention intensified.
Eventually going out to Bangor City in the quarter-finals, it was while watching an FAW video prior to the game that I saw Mackenzie Thomas being interviewed. Just fourteen years of age, he is the media officer at the club.
It was something he said in the video that caught my attention. He’d like to work in football media, he said, and was looking to get as much experience as possible along the way.
What better opportunity than to spend a day with us at The New Saints, I thought to myself, and get involved during a game. I tweeted the club and established contact.
Mackenzie was really interested in coming along and fast-forwarding a few weeks, he arrived at Park Hall with mom, Helen, and dad, Andrew (lead photograph), for the last game of the JD Welsh Premier League against Cardiff Metropolitan Universitry FC. Both are also very much involved with the club, the former runs the matchday cafe and the latter is the assistant manager.
They’re a lovely family and on arrival they had a tour of the ground. From the bowling alley at The Venue to the first team changing rooms, we covered the lot. Then, while mom and dad enjoyed pre-match hospitality, Mackenzie joined us on TNS media duty.
He did really well and while we were on the pitch before the game filming the TNS players in pre-match routine, I introduced him to Christian Edwards, the Cardiff Met manager. Very friendly and welcoming as always, Mackenzie then received an invitation to visit Cyncoed. This is one of the things I like about Welsh football, it’s all very positive and accommodating.
Mackenzie joined me on TNS Radio, as we covered the game live. He did really well. Then, following that it was down to the tunnel area where we interviewed manager, Scott Ruscoe, and Estonian U-23 international, Kevin Kauber, who scored twice in the opening minutes.
Mackenzie, it was great to have you with us and everyone at The New Saints wishes you all the very best for the future. You’re always welcome at Park Hall.
Rev’s Ramblings is a weekly blog, following my adventures with the champions of Wales, from a personal perspective. You can read more here.