Good afternoon, all. So you may have noticed that I’ve not been regular with my blogging on this site recently – I feel bad not being as consistent with my work. I thought I’d take some time out to explain myself and also update you on what’s going on.
So as many of you know, I began this site in May 2013 to promote my writing skills and passion for football to the world. Journalism, in particular Sport, was a career I was very interested in at the time – and still am. Since then, I’ve posted several posts on this site as well as other football and Spurs-related blogs. The regular articles and slowly improving quality of work meant I was always being asked to do an article for other sites, something I was never willing to turn down. I’m now an Associate Member of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporter’s Trust (THST), I have blogged for many sites and been on two different podcasts related to Spurs. But the biggest thing has been a new discovery of mine, something that’s taught me a lot in a short space of time. Enjoy the story:
In April 2014 I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline and read that my local non-league club – Wingate & Finchley – needed a win on the final day of the season to ensure safety in the Ryman Premier Division. As Spurs were away at Stoke that day, I thought it’d be nice to support a local club and went down to watch the game. The stadium was a complete culture shock from the masses I was used to seeing at White Hart Lane – with an attendance of about 230. Wingate & Finchley managed a 5-0 win but were still relegated due to teams above them winning. It was sad to see the players and staff looking dejected walking back into the changing rooms, something I’d never witnessed firsthand at a stadium. Weeks later, I read in the local paper that due to the financial situation of another Ryman Premier side, Wingate & Finchley were to be retained in the division.
Upon hearing the news, I got in touch with the club on Twitter to congratulate them and received a kind reply telling me that I was welcome back to the ground any time. However, I decided to take things a step further. I sent an email to one of their ‘people’ asking whether they had any internships or work experience opportunities available for me in their press team. A mere few hours later, I received an email asking me to visit the Harry Abrahams Stadium – home of Wingate & Finchley – for their pre-season friendly against St Albans. There I met with two men, Paul and Mike, who talked me through the roles available at the club and what opportunities there were for me. Paul, the head of Press, was more than happy to take me under his wing and teach me how things worked in the press and what his job(s) were at the club.
Since then I’ve been to every home game (and never seen a defeat!) and have been introduced to more and more people at the club. I am now on good terms with the Vice-President and the Chairman, have spoken to the President once and was told by the Director of Football that I was “doing a great job.” The opportunity has been very eye-opening and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club. I’d never have experienced some of the things I have at any Premier League and have been entrusted with several responsibilities. I write match reports for the club’s website, two local newspapers – the “Ham & High” and the “Barnet & Potters Bar Times” and also the non-league website. I also stand at the gate before games, collect money for the weekly raffle draw and also update the Press Association every game as to the final score and goal scorers from the game.
Everything I’ve learned so far has been extremely helpful towards my development and I’ve enjoyed every second. Growing up, I always felt that I’d only ever support one club and I’d never be able to have an affiliation with any other club in any country, but I can honestly say Wingate & Finchley have sealed a place in my heart. They’re a fantastic club with a very good manager, a talented set of players and some brilliant people behind-the-scenes. From day one, I’ve been welcomed and treated like one of their own and that’s only helped me settle in quicker. We’re in a strong position in the League after a fantastic start and some good signings. Next week, we host Havant & Waterlooville in a huge FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round tie. Havant are 2nd in the division above us so it’s definitely not going to be an easy game. If you live in the local area or simply want to come and fill a weekend without Premier League football, please come down to the ground – we’d love to have you and it’d be nice to meet a few people that I only know through a screen as of now. I can also guarantee a very high standard of football will be on display, with two great sides on show.
I am also running as a candidate for best young blogger in the Football Blogging Awards this year. If you enjoy my work, please tweet the following to cast your vote: “I am voting for @Nikhil_Saglani in @TheFBAs as best #young blogger” – this will automatically put your vote forward and will boost the votes to help me win a very prestigious award for football bloggers. Just to be nominated as a candidate and travel to the Museum of Football in Manchester on 13th November – the day before my birthday – would be an honour.
I thought I’d better explain myself for not regularly posting and felt it was a good opportunity to update you on how things are going. Since joining Twitter, I’ve got in touch with some great people and I’m thankful for all these opportunities – I cannot explain how much I’ve grown as a person in the last three years. I sometimes forget that I’m still 16. Thank you for reading & being a part of this journey, I hope there’s a lot more ahead for me.
Can’t Smile Without You, Come on Wingate and Come on you Spurs!!