Distance no problem for Atherton LR
Wed 6th September 2017 | Atherton LR | By Gary Langley
Football these days is a global industry and it’s not just at the higher levels where fans are attracted to clubs.
Many of our Hallmark Security League clubs have supporters from far afield, and in an age where clubs are needing support with everything from administration to logistics it is not uncommon now to see some clubs tapping into volunteers who aren’t necessarily on the doorstep.
Technology these days means that you don’t have to be on the terraces to watch your team, or live around the corner to be aware of news affecting your club. Atherton Laburnum Rovers are one such club who have tapped into the international talent pool!
Ben Reuven is Editor of football website ‘Offside Football’ and has recently got involved at LR’ in a media capacity. Despite being based over in Ireland, Ben’s arrival has seen the club's Social Media profile rise, as well as a new colour matchday programme arrive at Crilly Park. The club's presence in the local print and digital media has also risen.
We spoke to Ben this week about his role at the club, what exactly is his position and how did the tie-in between he and the club come about?
"Thanks, this season I am the media and communications officer for Atherton LR as well as the club’s Programme Editor. I’m in charge of all social media for the club, any posts on Facebook or Twitter from the club’s accounts have most likely been from me.
"I also design and write just about everything in the Crilly Park Review, the club’s match-day programme. I’ve only started earlier this season, I was involved in preseason to an extent, with doing the programme and graphics for everything but I got a lot more involved once the season started.
"I actually have no history or connection to Atherton LR or Atherton in general. Last season I was contacted by club Coach, Dave Potter to write an article about the club after he read an article I written about Bootle FC for my site, Offside Football. I was at Crilly Park to watch the club for their game against City of Liverpool. Fast forward to around two months ago and Dave contacts me again, asking if I or one of my writers would like to take these roles for as they’ve had a reshuffle of the personnel at the club.
"When Dave contacted me I looked at what I’m getting into. The social media was run by Dave himself who did quite well, the programme was run by Keith who did a brilliant job considering he had a very small budget and not a lot of experience in doing this kind of thing.
"From my perspective it looked like they needed some assistance building the foundations in both areas as well as help out on other projects. It was an opportunity for me to bring in my ideas and opinions to an open-minded environment. Moreover, I’m looking to do my coaching badges in Ireland and I’m an avid fan of the Football Manager games, I can’t think of a better way to see what goes on inside a football club than be in one!
You are based in Ireland, does that prove a major problem or does technology make it easier these days? Also you touched on your Media Website, have you experience in Sports Media or Club websites prior to this role?
"It’s not optimal, but I can do most of it without having 'boots on the ground'. Our live match updates are not as good as other clubs due to me not being there in person, however I get updates from the management team who can’t really message me every minute when something of interest goes on. I still get the big stuff posted though, goals, subs, cards and so on. Other than the actual match day things, I get all of the info I need online and write up or design everything on my own. I communicate with the entire club from the players to the board on an almost daily basis.
"This is my first official role in football. I’m not sure why I didn’t do it sooner as I’m really enjoying it. I run my own football journalism site called Offside Football (www.off-side.co.uk) that covers all types of football from Non-league to Premier League and has about 30-40 writers. I, myself, write about the club I support, Burnley.
"The football scene in Ireland is quite limited, especially where I am right now but I’m always looking for interesting things to do and help out with. Football is a big part of my life, can’t go wrong when you love what you do!
"When it comes to the logistics side of things I’ve never done anything like the programme before so it was quite a project for me. I looked at different programmes and took ideas from different places. I also asked a bunch of people for their views and opinions on what to do. It was quite complicated at times but I’ve had a lot of great help.
"When it came down to the texts and writing articles for the programme, I had no problems as I could do phone interviews with the players and management. That was the easy part! The graphics are where it gets tricky. As we don’t have a photographer right now (but are hoping to get one soon) it fell to the management team, especially Dave Potter to assist me with pictures of new signings, headshots of the players and all sort of other pictures.
So overall Ben, how are you enjoying your time as part of a club in the NWCFL and for those pondering a similar move, would you recommend taking on a role from distance and indeed to clubs who receive contact?
"I’m loving it! The league itself was very helpful in getting everything started and getting acquainted with the regulations of the programmes and such. I talked to Gary Langley and Ian Templeman and both were a great help and very informative.
"I’m really loving being a part of LR. The people are friendly and I feel I’m making a real contribution to the club. For those who are looking to get involved in football, media or so on looking to build up experience or just to take on a hobby, I would absolutely recommend it. From the individual side, you get to help non-league football, the level where it’s all about the passion for the game.
"You also get to have a glimpse at what it’s really like to run a football club and the work that goes into each and every match day and season, the details will astound you. Flip that to the club side, non-league football is attracting more and more people, locally or otherwise and football clubs, especially nonleague clubs will always need more people on board to push their clubs forward. The more hands on deck, the more support the club will get. It’s a win-win situation!
Last, but not least, what do you make of LR’s chances this season?
"I kept an eye on the results the club had after doing that interview last season, it wasn’t pretty at times. With some new board members, a lot of new players and a very professional attitude, I think LR can do very well this season. The club signed some great players and has some depth as well.
"I’m confident you’ll be seeing LR in the top half of the table, I’m that confident I’ll risk looking the fool and say playoff contenders".