This is the time of year, of course, when you see football clubs visiting childrens’ hospital wards, handing out presents and posing for photographs. TNS is no exception, and this Wednesday (December 21) one such visit is planned. There will be more of that on our website and social media accounts in due course (or even now, depending on when you are reading this).
The players’ involvement in the local community is already extensive, via the excellent work of TNS Foundation. In fact, it’s the Foundation that is organising the visit to the hospital this week and I’m looking forward to being there. Still on the broader subject though, Shelly McGlinchey’s nephew, Zac, has found himself in hospital this week.
TNS players send best wishes to Zac, a young boy in hospital at the moment.
Get well soon, Zac, from all of us at TNS. pic.twitter.com/LNaGnV1O2u
— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) December 17, 2016
The club has sent some signed items, and prior to the game at gap Connah’s Quay last Saturday, a few of the players sent best wishes via a video. You can watch that above, courtesy of the TNS Twitter account. Get better soon, Zac, and we hope to see you at a game in the New Year.
Continuing with the community involvement, last week I went with the aforementioned Shelly into Oswestry to visit the local Food Bank. I tracked her with the iPad as she made her way round, chatting with volunteers and finding out more about what goes on behind the scenes. Again, another video to take in and you can access that via the club social media accounts.
Finally, it’s the Rhyl game that features in this week’s Rev’s Ramblings. Flexibility is the name of the game as far as media work in the modern game of football is concerned, and following a telephone conversation I was on my way to the match a little earlier than expected.
With the tremendous ongoing run that the team is on at the moment making extended ripples, this time it was ITV Wales that got in on the act. With a live slot on the early evening news, it was a double-act as Craig Harrison and Phil Baker represented the club on TV.
— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) December 14, 2016
The game went our way, of course, but it was another close encounter as ten-man Rhyl pushed hard. I was there quite early, as previously stated, and pitch-side taking photos I heard a voice behind me, ‘You taking selfies again?’
Looking round, I saw that it was Stefan Halewood, the Lilywhites’ captain. I think he only wanted a shot with the Selfie King. Anyway, on a serious note, I like Stef, and he was the first player that I got to know when I started to get into Welsh football a few years back.
On holiday at Kinmel Bay with my wife, Debby, there was a North Wales Coast Cup game on locally, as Rhyl entertained Buckley Town. I was really impressed with Stef’s performance and I found him on Twitter afterwards, sent him a message, and it just went from there.
I do appreciate the relationships I have in Welsh football very much. Some, due to the circumstances, are more distant, so to speak. Others are closer to home and I see people on a much more regular basis, but they’re all valued very much indeed.
And on that, as this is the last column before Christmas, let me leave you with best wishes for the festive season. I’ve been learning Welsh this year and I’ve been inserting stuff into the club’s social media from time to time. Well, we do play in Dafabet Welsh Premier League after all. Nadolig Llawen / Merry Christmas.
Feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org