Press officer Glen Maxwell is in his second stint at Croft Park. He talks to Phil Castiaux about his role and himself.
Firstly, tell me a little about yourself.
Ok, well I’m 27 and born and bred in Blyth. I’ve been a supporter of the Spartans for many years. I can’t remember my first game, but I do know I was a mascot on my sixth birthday when we beat Workington 2-1 with Steve Harkus getting both goals. But the first game I can really remember was at Harrogate in the 90s when we won the league. A lot of Blyth fans made the trip that day. It was a fantastic atmosphere and a great game and to top it off me and my brother were able to get in to the dressing room and celebrate with the players!
You’ve volunteered at the club two times; tell me something about that.
The first time I just got in touch with the club. I knew Andrew Dodds who was press officer at the time. I started off doing match previews and then quickly went on to editing the programme for the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. It combined doing something I wanted to do with something close to my heart, so getting involved was a no-brainer. The only reason I stopped was down to getting full-time employment, which meant I had problems with finding the time to do it.
It proves I loved my time at the club that, once that particular job finished, I was on to you Phil to see if I could come back and I restarted last August.
My role involves writing and distributing the match reports and breaking news for the club. On a match day, I get to Croft Park at around an hour before kick-off in time to get a team sheet when they are issued. I have to ring the Sunday Sun/Evening Chronicle office before kickoff with teams, referee’s name etc. I ring them again at half time and then full time with my abridged report. It can be difficult getting through sometimes – as they have people like me at all of the other non-league games in the North East and everyone is trying to get through at about the same time.
I write the report for our website and News Post Leader as the game goes along. I like to get it out there as quickly as possible, as I think it diminishes it a bit if the reader has to wait a while to read it. It’s nice getting praise for the speed of getting the report done, but I’d still do the same even if no-one was bothered.
Sometimes it’s difficult balancing my new full-time job with getting breaking club news out, but I’m lucky that usually someone – Ian Evans, Alun or you Phil – will tell me what might be happening, so I can prepare the press release as best I can.
It’s great to be able to interact with the players on a sort of personal level. They and Alun are always great to talk to. It’s quite surreal really considering I remember watching Alun scoring against Inter Milan when I was 12 and now he rings me and says: “Hi Glen mate, how you doing?” It’s a bit weird in that sense!
But the whole club is fantastic – the fans, management and playing staff.
What other interests do you have, away from football?
Well, I have two young dogs called Freddie and Ozzy and I walk them on the beach or down towards Seaton Sluice. We’re lucky because we’re close to the rugby pitches near South Beach, so they can be off their leads there too. Walking the dogs gives you a little bit of a release from work.
I’ve also just started playing the drums in a band again. I’ve been in and out of bands for a while and the new one has only had about ten practices, but it’s going well.
Also, I got engaged in August and will be getting married in 2018, so I’m busy saving and planning for that. I just basically get told what to do!
Finally Glen, where do you think the Spartans will finish in the League this season?
I like to think that we will win the league, especially considering the disappointment of last year – after being on top for so long. So I’ll say we’ll get promotion but, hopefully, without the play-offs. We could have it wrapped up by the middle of March!