7th August 2014
Hal’s Week on the ESPN FC Newsdesk
My placement at ESPN began with a long train journey South to Nottingham, where I spent the week travelling to and from ESPN’s offices in Hammersmith, London.
My first day of the placement began at 7am on the Monday as I jumped aboard a train full of people rushing to work. After surviving the intense heat of the Underground, I arrived at ESPN and was introduced to ESPNFC Assistant Editor Mark Lomas. I worked closely with him and his colleagues on the football news desk throughout the week.
Mark gave me a quick tour and then I was then shown to the football news desk, surrounded by retro shirts from various clubs.
My task for the first day was to write and update profiles of Premier League managers on the ESPNFC website, including Burnley’s Sean Dyche.
The main breaking news story of the day was the retirement from international football of my favourite player of all time; Steven Gerrard. As the news broke, it was fascinating to see the all-hands-on-deck response with multiple stories and reaction up on ESPN’s website and social media within minutes.
James Rodriguez finalised his move to Real Madrid on my second day and the ESPN news desk team made sure the deal was covered from all angles. I was instructed to write a detailed profile of James to be displayed on the website and spent the remainder of the afternoon completing more manager profiles.
On Tuesday evening ESPN were kind enough to offer me the chance to attend the UK premiere of the new animated football film ‘The Unbeatables’ (released August 15th) at Vue Leicester Square. I had no idea what to expect from the whole experience, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the Oscar-winning director Juan Jose Campanella in attendance. All in all it was a thoroughly entertaining watch and I’d recommend it to anyone.
Day three was another early start for me as I made my now familiar journey to the ESPN headquarters. I spent the morning writing a review of last night’s Unbeatables film for the ESPN website on a day that was fairly quiet in terms of football news; The biggest stories of the day were Tottenham’s moves for Swansea duo Ben Davies and Michel Vorm.
After lunch I continued to work on the profiles of Premier League managers in preparation for the new season with Ronald Koeman, Alan Pardew, Roberto Martinez and more on the agenda.
With the majority of manager profiles now finished, I was asked to write and edit player profiles for the ESPN website on day four. Some of the more established players already had up to date profiles so I was asked to write about more recently emerging players such as Thibaut Courtois and Luke Shaw.
Day five involved writing more profiles, this time of some foreign coaches such as Massimiliano Allegri. I had to research these heavily as I knew less about them than the Premier League managers. When the time came, I said my farewells to the people I had spent the week working with and made my last journey home.
Overall, my week at ESPN was a fantastic experience, which taught me a lot about the skills that are required to work for a major sports network. On reflection, it is definitely an area I’d like to go into in the future and I was really pleased to have the opportunity to work with them.
Written by Hal Boxhall-Dockree – BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing student at UCFB