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MEDIA WEEKLY: Long Haul Trips and Improving Mental Health

13 October 2016

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What did you do with your free weekend? It was a bit strange, wasn't it? Sadly, the two England games didn't exactly fill the void with their excitement.

Thankfully, the proper football and the Spireites are back in action this weekend and here's a run through of what the day means from a media standpoint.

Away Day Blues

Let's be honest, we're pretty lucky Chesterfield was plonked nice and centrally when it comes to away days and distances to be covered - that said, it'll be an early start on Saturday for one of the season's long haul trips all the way down to Southend United.

The squad will attempt to dodge the travel fatigue by travelling down on Friday lunch time and then staying over. The Spireites media crew used to hop on for the ride until Paul Cook wanted the bus to be a place for just the squad and management team, in fairness this does mean we now have more time and flexibility, which is helpful.

I'll be driving down on Saturday morning with placement students Paul and Craig, with the aim always to get to the away ground for around 12:30pm, with a bit more of an allowance made for a longer trip like this weekend's, so we'll be heading off at about 8am to try to be sure of a prompt Roots Hall arrival.

The key to all things is to be prepared, so I'll make sure the template for the match report and then the team sheet graphic is all ready on Friday afternoon; with cameras, laptops and memory cards all checked and packed.

On arrival at the ground the first jobs are to find the way in and then set up, with laptops put in position, wifi codes sought (dodgy wifi will ruin any afternoon - we have a dongle as well, just in case) and a chat with the home press officer to know what's what for working during the match and a bit of inside research on the day's opponents.

I'll then try and get some social media content around the ground and in the dressing room, having a quick chat with Steve the kitman over his inevitable (and questionable) Northern Soul on the big speaker as he lays out the kit.

The squad will arrive at about 1:15pm and from about 1:30pm I'll be hanging around like a bad smell trying to catch Chris Morgan's eye and then hopefully getting the chance to take a photo of the confirmed Spireites team sheet for the afternoon.

Once that's done and the team news is published across our channels there's some calm before the storm and we can do some filming, some more work on social media and get comfortable in the press box ahead of kick-off, easier said than done in some of the older grounds with pokier arrangements. 

The two-odd hours of game time tend to go by in a bit of a blur, before on the 90 minutes things crank into the final chapter. Within moments of the final whistle the match report needs to be published, the final tweets tweeted and the match stats checked and remembered ahead of the post-match interviews.

An away win and finding players to interview is easy, lose and it takes a combination of arm twisting and soothing smiles. We aim to interview the most relevant players but it can depend on their availability and whether they are willing to talk.

Interviews done and we're on the home stretch. Upload the interviews (while praying the wifi is quick and reliable - on a good day it tales 15 minutes, a bad day an hour - check that everything on the website and social media is looking how it should and it's finally time to pack up and head home.

World Mental Health Day

It was great to get involved with the Spireites Football for Life team on Monday as they were invited along to a training session with the first team, before being given a very special coaching session by Ritchie Humphreys. You can read more about it here.

Come tomorrow and the side will be facing Barnsley in their first game of the season, let's hope they can channel all they've seen and learned to knock over the Tykes.

Iain Pearce - Spireites Media Team

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