One comment I make on a regular basis is that football is very kind to me. Sitting here on a Monday morning in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, once again the thought comes to mind.
I love football-related travel and whether it was the overnight stay in Luton on Saturday, to the journey yesterday as we ventured to the Balkan peninsular, it’s all good.
One of the things I like – and appreciate – is that I get to travel and stay with the squad. Basically, where they go, I go. Not only is it nice to do that, of course, but more importantly it means you can bring more intimate and relevant media updates.
Speaking with counterparts in the English system, they travel to the games separately and have far less connection with the players. For me, one of the positives of being around the team is that you build relationships and the players feel more comfortable.
If you listen to our club interviews, often they end with the player saying something like ‘Cheers, Rev’. I like that because it shows they are at ease, which means the interview flows much more smoothly and they come over more effectively.
Back to this week’s column though and depending on when you’re reading this, the result will be known. It’s going to be a tough game but the confidence levels are high and one thing we can be sure is that the lads will give 100%.
The match tomorrow (Tuesday, July 10) will be my 13th UEFA Champions League tie with The New Saints. It’s incredible to think, that as a football fan, I’d never been to a game in that competition prior to joining the club.
Now, like the proverbial bus, I wait ages for one and then they all turn up together. Not that I’m complaining, of course. It does show though that in life you never know what’s around the corner.
I was in my fifties and I had never been to a Champions League game and then here I am, a veteran of the press box. It’s certainly been an interesting journey so far and I firmly believe that the best is yet to come.
The lead image: There is a river right next to the hotel. I’m a passionate angler. I have a telescopic travel rod. Work out the rest for yourself.
Rev’s Ramblings is my weekly TNS blog, written from a personal perspective, following my adventures with the champions of Wales. Read more HERE