Notts County's Head of Media Jamie Dixon gives his thoughts on the past week at Meadow Lane in our latest blog...
It’s been a difficult few days in the Media Team, with the defeat to Fleetwood Town on Saturday proving quite an emotional occasion.
The passing of Honorary Lifetime Vice President John Mounteney last week was felt throughout the club, because he played such an active role, particularly on matchdays, and had gotten to know pretty much everyone at Meadow Lane, so it was always going to be a difficult day on Saturday as we joined to pay our respects.
We in the Media Team have very fond memories of John as he was a great advocate of the work that we did and took a real interest in Magpie Player and the website, always having a kind word to say when we’d produced something that he approved of. He had made each of us feel very much part of the club and we will always be grateful to him for that. Our thoughts are of course with John’s wife Daphne and his family as they come to terms with their loss.
Saturday’s game also signalled the end of an era for us here in the Media Team, as Multimedia Editor Dane Vincent left the club to pursue a new challenge, which we wish him all the very best with.
Dane was a key a part of the team, looking after all of the video content that you’ll have seen on Magpie Player over the past five years and maintaining the club’s official website. His work on a number of projects over the years has drawn a great deal of praise and rightfully so, with some truly moving and memorable content produced, not least in the form of Notts County: The Movie, as part of our 150th Anniversary celebrations and the documentation of our trip to Juventus.
He will be missed by everyone at the club, but he has certainly left his mark and the work that he put in will continue to shape much of what we do in the future. We haven’t had much time to dwell on his departure though, with another home game having come around straight away on Tuesday night.
The mood around the club was pretty low at the start of the week, as it often is after a defeat, but more so because of the events of the days prior to it obviously. So, in a lot of ways, Tuesday night couldn’t come quick enough, for the staff as much as the players and of course the fans.
Our Press Officer, Ralph Shepherd, and I set about planning for the game, with the usual pre-match media session organised for Monday afternoon, but there was a twist early on when we found out that we’d need to give Club Secretary Tony Cuthbert a lift over to Eagle Valley as he had some paperwork that he needed to get signed, which it turned out would be to register Manager Shaun Derry as a player and to sign former defender Mike Edwards as a player and Strength & Conditioning Coach. We’re always happy to help, even if its just as chauffeurs!
That meant another interview, another story on the website and accompanying press release and some tweaks to the website. There’s nothing like being thrown in at the deep end on your first day as a downsized team! It was good in a lot of ways though because it meant we had to step up and get things done, which I always think is the best way of dealing with change, just throw yourself into it and adapt as necessary.
We got through it anyway and although Ralph and I were a little frazzled by the end of the day, having been exchanging emails from 6:30am that morning, I’m delighted with the way that we managed to cope and I’m confident that we’ll go from strength to strength in our new format. I must say a massive thanks to Ralph, who has really stepped up to the plate since Dane’s departure and is showing why he is such a key member of the Media Team and the club as a whole.
Tuesday brought another early start, with my first email from Ralph arriving in my inbox at 5:59am, but the anticipation of a matchday is always a great motivator and with it being a home game, there was plenty to be getting on with.
A large part of my day was taken up finishing the job of putting stickers on the seats of our season ticket holders, a much harder task than it sounds, or indeed sounded when we first planned it! Having spent much of Friday and all of Saturday morning traipsing up and down the Haydn Green Family Stand and the David James Estate Agents Kop Stand, we set about getting the Derek Pavis Stand finished. With the help of the Ticket Office staff, we pushed on through and managed to get it done in good time.
I’ve got to say at this point, if you are a season ticket holder and have found you’ve not got a sticker on your chosen seat, or there is a problem with your sticker, please do email in to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can look to get that sorted for you. If you bought your ticket after 1 August though, there are still a number that we are working through to get those labelled with a sticker to indicate that the seat is taken by a member of The Bench.
Stickering done, it was all about making the final preparations for the match, getting the scoreboard graphics ready and loaded in, turning the concourse TVs on, preparing the teamsheet and checking that everything was ready for our first home game of the new era.
We even managed to fit in some filming for Ryan Neal, who is the young lad that has helped us out on home match days for the past couple of seasons and is set to leave for University in Liverpool next month, so that will be another emotional final day I’m sure. I’ve got to thank Ryan for everything that he’s done here at Meadow Lane, he’s an example to all youngsters looking to make their first steps into a professional career as his attitude and dedication are first rate and I know he’s going to absolutely smash University. Liverpool John Moores is lucky to have secured his signing!
It would be remiss of me at this point not to also mention Adam Harston, who some of you may know from the work he’s done presenting on Magpie Player, and other smaller projects with the likes of the BBC! Another first class guy who has been an invaluable asset to us in the Media Team on matchdays. He’d better not be planning on leaving anytime soon, I don’t think we could take that!
We are still seeing how it goes in terms of workload following Dane’s departure, but may be looking for a Matchday Assistant to help out on home and away games throughout the season, so if you, or someone you know might be interested, ask them to drop us a line to email@example.com and we’ll keep them informed on developments on that front.
There’s also the opportunity to write your own blog here on the official website, if you’re interested, as we’ll be looking to make this a regular midweek feature this season, so again email in if you’d be interested in having your thoughts and views on life as a Notts fan shared with your fellow supporters.
I’ll close this entry though by saying that I don’t care how the wins come and I don’t care if it was a scrappy, battling performance, we got three points on Tuesday night and that made everything seem much better in the world, as it always does.
I thought the Meadow Lane crowd were simply immense on the night, particularly at the end, when we were down to nine men, so let’s hope for a similar backing at every home game this season and here’s to plenty more victories, home and away!