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MEDIA WEEKLY: Houdini and Kiwis

1 December 2016

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This week the focus is on the upcoming new websites that will be rolled out across the EFL next summer - ones which will hopefully make following the Spireites all the more pleasurable.

The current websites are, let's be honest, antiquated, far from beautiful and not altogether as functional as you'd expect nowadays - and I can reveal that they are an absolute pig to try and work with from the back end as well.

New Website Horizons

Come the end of the season it will be all change for the Spireites - and most of the rest of EFL clubs - as we're all getting fresh new websites to play with and (hopefully) impress you, the supporters, with.

As you may have noticed, be it the Blades, Bantams or the Bees most of the sides in the EFL (generally all of them except Leeds United and the teams who have gone up or drastically down since the last Football League Interactive (FLI) deal was signed - meaning Macclesfield's website looks similar to ours as well) have one of three templates and the same backstage engine behind their official sites.

All current EFL sides were offered the chance to opt in for the new FLI deal, and the Spireites have done that, so from July 2017 we'll be entering the new era for the Spireites on the web.

Having discussed the new project, code-named Project Houdini, with my counterpart Matt Hudson at Colchester United on our recent FA Cup trip to Essex I'm feeling increasingly optimistic that the new site will be closer to what we want it to be.

Matt said he's been going along to the working group meetings in London and has been really impressed - and feels that the new templates will give each club more scope to personalise and create attractive, user-friendly websites that will be better looking and more interactive for supporters.

Along with the updates we get from the EFL, let's hope this signals that we're entering a shiny and bright brave new web world.

Antipodean Visitor

With Koichiro Suzuki (Tokyo Spireite) recently back with us, and the now five-year-old Belgian Spireites also having a few trips to the see the Spireites home and away in the last few weeks the Proact's had quite an international feel lately.

Last Friday we had a live journalist from even further afield with us as Michael Burgess (pictured) from the New Zealand Herald popped into the stadium to say hello to his fellow Kiwi Liam Graham.

After a trip to the UK for the rugby league Four Nations competition, Michael just had time to visit the Spireites' full-back, the day before heading back home to the Southern Hemisphere.

Unfortunately, things didn't completely run smoothly - Michael arrived to hear that Liam's ACL rupture had just been confirmed - but none-the-less Michael was made to feel at home in recording a video package and sit-down interview with the Spireite.

We'll post links to Michael's Proact reports as they're completed, and Michael did have a rummage around the Club Superstore before heading off - more of an All Black Friday than a Black Friday in this case - to ensure NZ is slightly more Spireites now than it was.

Iain Pearce - Spireites Media Team

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