Category Archives: Interviews

INTERVIEW: Charlie Hawkes reveals the positives and negatives of vlogging football games

I spoke to young YouTuber and avid Rotherham United supporter Charlie Hawkes to gain his insight in to being a vlogger of football games. He also offered his thoughts on how he thought the Millers’ season would transpire.

Charlie first discussed what inspired him to start making videos of his experiences at football matches: “For a start there was your channel [George Sanders] and Dylan Lee-Horton’s too that made me want to start doing videos.” He added: “I also thought Talk Norwich City was really good too!”

The 14 year-old who supports Rotherham due to family influence contended that he has had issues with regards to him vlogging Millers games in the past: “At Walsall away a couple of Millers fans started shouting abuse at me and my friend James who was also making a video, but nothing too major has happened really.”

However Charlie explained how the majority of people have supported him and his YouTube channel: “My family know about the channel and they’re quite supportive and all my mates do too. I do occasionally get a bit of stick here and there for it though!”

Embed from Getty Images

I myself have also received a few snide comments from people when I used to create videos at football games, but similarly to Charlie, I also had a lot of good people supporting me too.

Though Charlie did admit that he didn’t see YouTube as a sustainable career for himself in the future, he has clear aspirations for his ever-growing channel: “I’m very close to reaching 500 subscribers and that in my eyes is a massive milestone for me, but if I could ever gain more than 1,000 that would be a dream!”

CH 2

Charlie celebrating a goal in one of his videos.

When asked about which of his videos was his favourite, he exclaimed: “I don’t have one I think!”

We then turned attention to his beloved Rotherham United. Charlie revealed that his favourite player currently was “Super” Joe Newell.

Newell is a 25 year-old midfielder who is primarily used as a winger, but can also play in the centre of midfield too. He has scored seven goals so far for the Millers this season.

Embed from Getty Images

So, will Rotherham United achieve promotion to the Championship? Charlie wasn’t so confident on this matter: “I would love us to clench promotion obviously, but I also don’t want us to be embarrassed like last season if we were to go up. In terms of confidence… I’d say I’m about 60% sure we’ll go up.”

The Millers were relegated from the Championship last season after finishing rock-bottom with a measly tally of just 23 points. The club are currently fourth in League One.

Make sure you go on this link to visit Charlie’s channel: 
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCtOtK9QN_Tz1LofE-YClMbA
Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgeS_Sport
Thanks to Charlie for taking the time to talk to me and I wish him luck with his YouTube channel.
Watch my interview with Rotherham United midfielder Will Vaulks:

Advertisements

Former Rotherham United player reveals what it was like playing for the club during the turbulent times

How aware were the players of the scale of the jeopardy facing Rotherham United during their years of near crisis? Former Millers full-back, Dale Tonge explains what it was like wearing the red shirt through this unstable period for the club, and indeed through the better times, too.

Rotherham United were threatened with extinction as they entered administration twice prior to 2008. Multiple points deductions would follow as a consequence, eventually resulting in relegation to League Two. The situation was extremely dire. Dale Tonge contended that even the players weren’t fully aware of how bad the situation was at the Yorkshire club, and stated: “On a personal note, I struggled being a single lad with a mortgage, but lads with families struggled more which was hard to see. The people who had worked for years at the club got made redundant too, which was an awful situation to be in as these selfless people are the heart and soul of a club!”

Embed from Getty Images

Local businessman Tony Stewart took over the club as chairman, but they still had to sadly leave their native home of Millmoor in the 2008-09 season, after failure to come to an agreement with the ground’s Landlords. Millmoor had been the home of Rotherham United for over a century and Tonge who had the pleasure of playing there, enthused that: “Millmoor was my favourite place to play!”

The 32 year-old also described the nature of the 8,300 seat stadium: “It reminded me of when I was young watching games on the terraces. The stands were close in, which created a great atmosphere!”

Embed from Getty Images

The Millers moved to a temporary home at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield. The 25,000 seater stadium had an athletics track surrounding the pitch, which made it incredibly hard for supporters to create an atmosphere. “No player or staff member liked the move to Don Valley”, remarked Tonge. “However, we knew the move was necessary. We played for Rotherham, but never actually visited there often, trained in Doncaster and played in Sheffield!”

DVS CS

The Don Valley Stadium – Photo courtesy of Chris Sanders

“Overall we tried to make this ground a tough place to come and I think we achieved this, but it certainly never felt like home!”

The club finally returned home in 2012, as they moved to the state of the art AESSEAL New York Stadium. The aesthetically pleasing 12,000 capacity stadium was to be the secure home of the club, finally back in their own town. Tonge described how the stadium created a wave of much-needed “optimism and excitement” around the football club, which: “rewarded the fans and in particular the chairman who deserves it for all the hard work and patience in seeing the process through.”

The Millers enjoyed back-to-back promotion from League Two to the Championship at the stadium under lively manager Steve Evans, whom Tonge played under. The club are currently battling for promotion again from League One this season under manager and former player, Paul Warne.

Embed from Getty Images

Finally, Tonge summed up his Rotherham United career which lasted between 2007-13: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club and making memories there. It’s fair to say, I’ve had my downs too with me being injured far too many times, but this has made me a stronger person.”

“I was treated very well being a local lad and I was very proud to wear the shirt that a lot of my family supported.”

Embed from Getty Images

He ended the interview with the remark:

“Once a Miller, always a Miller!”

Tonge came out the Barnsley youth set-up and made his debut in 2004 against Brentford. He currently plays for FC United of Manchester. A massive thanks to Dale for taking the time to speak to me!

A full feature on Rotherham United including more of Dale’s comments and supporter’s views will be on The Yorkshire Voice in the near future.

Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgeS_Sport

 

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.

Embed from Getty Images

 

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.”

Embed from Getty Images

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