The Press Box Experience

Related to my course of Sports Journalism, I was able to attend Portsmouth FC’s game vs Blackpool as part of the press. With thanks to my lecturer for sorting it out, I was able to get a glimpse into my future as a Sports journalist. Portsmouth was everything I expected. The media room, being as small as a classroom, was filled with several photographers and journalists from other papers. Getting handed the team sheets, press pass and match programme added to my excitement for the evening. Very informal compared to a top flight team, but this made it that extra bit special.

My press pass allowed me to venture around the stadium, walking pitch side taking in how great this experience was going to be. Arriving early to make sure I knew where to go, it was crazy to think 18,000 fans would soon be packed into Fratton Park cheering on their side. Stewards then showed me to the benches (yes, plain wooden benches) where I’d be setting up my laptop and notepad to take down a match report. Surrounded by other journalists and radio teams, it was incredible. Sat in the gods on the half way line, the place was rocking with an atmosphere.

Lucky for me the game was brilliant. End to end stuff with goals scored in both halves. Thankfully both of Portsmouth in a 2-0 win. As it was my first time I chose to write down as many notes as possible, even if they weren’t relevant. It was all about gaining the experience. Once the full-time whistle blew, it wasn’t the end of my work.

Paul Cook, Portsmouth’s manager would be coming into the media room for his post-match press conference. Here I chose to take a back seat and let the professionals ask their questions. I wanted to learn about the right questions to ask and appreciate how good they are at their jobs. Paul was fantastic to listen to, full of energy and respectful of the reporters. Placing my phone on the table in front of him, I used the quotes to write up my match report of the game. My first game as the press was over, but simply incredible. The first of many I hope and who knows, maybe a Premier League game could be next.

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