Monthly Archives: August 2017

Interview with YouTuber and Fleetwood fan – Ben Knapman: “the atmosphere that day was immense!”

I spoke to young Fleetwood supporter and football vlogger Ben Knapman (@Benknappy) about his beloved Fleetwood Town, and of course general musings about his ever-growing YouTube channel.

Hi Ben, first of all I’d like to ask you, why do you support Fleetwood Town FC?

“I was about 8 years old, and a footballer called Jamie Milligan gave me complimentary tickets to a game. It was against Preston North End and we drew 0-0. After that, I kept attending games until in 2011, I finally got my first season ticket. So I’d say it’s down to Milligan who was trying to get more kids to go to Fleetwood games, and it worked with me.”

Jamie Milligan played for and captained The Cod Army between 2005-2013, scoring 42 goals in the process.

After a solid start to the season with a 2-0 win over Rotherham and 1-0 win away at Northampton Town, has your initial prediction of a 10th placed finish for Fleetwood changed?

“My predictions haven’t changed. I think you get a real feel for where you’re going to finish after the Christmas period. I still think we’ll finish around 10th. Moreover, against Northampton we did actually struggle to score. I think we’ve played two mid-table sides at the minute, the real tests will come when we play teams like Blackburn Rovers and Wigan.”

A Conor McAleny brace ensured Fleetwood were victorious over Rotherham on the opening day, while Devante Cole’s 75th minute strike ensured Fleetwood gained all three points fromThe Cobblers on Saturday.

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Who will be Fleetwood’s key player this season?

“I can’t pick one but I’ll name two, these two are quality every week. Alex Cairns our goalkeeper is the first, I mean look at his triple save yesterday! My second choice is Kyle Dempsey, our number eight. He runs things in midfield and I think he got 9 assists last year!”

So let’s talk about your YouTube. What do you like the most about YouTube?

“I like the fact you can broadcast your thoughts and be yourself, I think other YouTubers are always better when they’re themselves on videos too. I love that I can share my experiences from Fleetwood games with other Fleetwood or football fans, and I feel that you can meet a load of good people through YouTube. I also enjoy watching my memories back of the games I’ve attended.”

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The 15 year-old has over 1200 subscribers on YouTube. Ben vlogs the Fleetwood Town games that he attends, in addition to other football related videos.

Do you have a favourite video on your channel?

“This is a very hard question! It’s going to be a Fleetwood vlog… I’ve made so many of these! *after naming a few of his videos, Ben finally enthuses:* I think the Bristol City video is my favourite because the atmosphere that day was immense. We didn’t stop chanting ‘red and white army’ throughout the whole game, and we deserved to equalise. That day made me proud!”

Finally, what are your aspirations for your YouTube channel?

“Obviously now it’s just a hobby, but I’d like to make a career out of it when I’m older!”

Ben, who was also named as Fleetwood’s ‘Fan of the year’, recently raised over £700 for The Bradley Lowery Foundation. He did this with a charity walk prior to Fleetwood’s pre-season game with Bolton Wanderers. Well done Ben!

 

My thanks go to Ben for taking the time to talk to me. Check out his YouTube channel here.
Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgeS_Sport

 

 

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Match Preview: Rotherham United vs Southend United

A buoyant Southend United side travel to Rotherham United this weekend on the back of an impressive 2-1 victory over former Championship side, Blackburn Rovers in League One.

Meanwhile the Shrimper’s opponents Rotherham, who were also relegated from the Championship last season, faced a baptism of fire on their return to League One. They lost 2-0 away to Fleetwood on the opening day.

The South Yorkshire side actually had a fair amount of the possession, and indeed imposed a significant amount of pressure onto Fleetwood, but Paul Warne’s side lacked the final product. Two goals from Fleetwood’s new signing Conor McAleny (who joined the club from Everton) sealed Rotherham’s fate.

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This is unlike Phil Brown’s Southend, who had little trouble rekindling their impressive form from last season. Goals from Ryan Leonard and new signing Michael Kightly put the Blues 2-0 up, before what would turn out to be just a consolation goal for Blackburn, from a free-kick by Charlie Mulgrew.

Ones to watch in this fixture:

Jon Taylor – Rotherham United

The 25 year-old signed for the Millers from Peterborough in 2016 and instantly impressed Rotherham fans with his pace and work-rate. The winger also boasts a powerful shot and despite being in a belated, rock-bottom Millers side, he managed to score goals against Nottingham Forest, Birmingham and Blackburn last season.

Anthony Wordsworth – Southend United

Rotherham United fans will recognise midfielder Anthony Wordsworth from his time on loan with themselves and may remember his only goal during his time at the club – a fantastic free-kick against Bolton Wanderers in September 2014. The Camden born player played a key role in Southend’s impressive campaign last season, scoring 12 goals in the process. It has also emerged that Wordsworth played despite the influence of injury.

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In the dugout:

Paul Warne – Rotherham United

Many critics have slammed Rotherham United manager Paul Warne ahead of this season, but if the club’s fantastic pre-season, and the squad he has assembled is anything to go by, he could well prove them wrong. The club’s former fitness manager assumed the role as permanent manager after managing The Millers in the latter stages of last season’s Championship relegation, which at first appeared to be temporary.

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Phil Brown – Southend United

Experienced manager Phil Brown took his Southend United side to an impressive 7th place finish in League One last year, just one point behind Millwall in the final play-off spot. Brown’s Blues side clearly have a significant amount of tactical finesse as they clenched ‘shock’ results last season too, such as a 3-0 victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and a 3-0 victory over Bradford.

The last time they met at Rotherham:

The last game between the two teams at Rotherham’s AESSEAL New York Stadium saw Steve Evan’s Millers side lose 3-0. A brace from Britt Assombalonga and a goal from Dave Martin left Evan’s promotion seeking side looking red faced at the full-time whistle. In fact, Rotherham have not had a victory over The Shrimpers on home soil since 1980.

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Full-time result?

With the plethora of attacking talent, both in midfield and upfront that both teams possess, I can see this game having goals in it. That said, I feel like the squads are fairly evenly balanced but I predict a 3-2 win for Rotherham, the recent cup games playing a fair role in my decision, even with different line-ups.

Paul Warne should narrowly clench his first win managing Rotherham in League One, and they will build on the positive signs from last weekend’s defeat to Fleetwood and their recent 2-1 victory over Lincoln in the Carabao Cup. Southend will have to pick themselves up following their 2-0 loss to Newport in the Carabao Cup and the impressive link-up play between Rotherham’s strikers may be enough to send them back to Essex with no points.

Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgeS_Sport