Introduction to the blog...

Hi, my name's Toby Wildgoose. I'm a 20 year old boy who's obsessed by sport, so much so that I am looking to become a sports journalist/media officer in later life.

I've set up this blog not only so that I can improve and refine my writing skills, but also to provide a platform for potential employers to view my work.

I have already developed a small portfolio of my work, with my experience in the industry including: written match reports for junior football teams, published work at numerous EFL clubs in a variety of formats, and work experience placements at Chesterfield FC and Rotherham United Community Sports Trust - to see my full portfolio click here: http://goo.gl/VWws3H.

I hope to post as often as possible on this blog about anything that is sport related. Please find the time to read any of my posts.

Any comments or suggestions on how I can improve the blog would be greatly appreciated, and I would also be happy to receive any other suggestions for work experience. Please comment on here, email me (tobywildgoose@gmail.com), or even tweet me (@TobyWildgoose). Cheers!

Start Date: 11/12/12

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Gallery: Harrogate Railway Athletic 1-6 Pontefract Collieries

Last weekend, I decided to attend the NCEL Premier Division fixture between Harrogate Railway Athletic and Pontefract Collieries at Station View. I also chose to take my camera along to the game as this allowed me to practice my sports photography.

During the game, I encountered a number of problems which made it difficult for me to capture the images I desired. A large shadow was the major issue as it draped itself over most of the pitch and therefore cast the players into shade. Getting down to pitch level was also a problem as the terracing behind the goal was slightly raised, meaning that more grass made it into the shots than I would have preferred. Unfortunately, my camera is nowhere near the level of a professional photographers' and so, after the sun had set, I could no longer continue to shoot. 

Despite this, I have a small selection of photos that I'm quite pleased with: 

The high-paced tempo of the game is set early on.

This soon results in Pontefract open the scoring after just seven minutes (0-1).

The Pontefract players celebrate their opening goal (0-1).

Ponte double the lead with a long-range effort (0-2).

The Harrogate players appear dejected as Pontefract celebrate their second goal (0-2).

A scramble in the box sees Harrogate Railway clear their lines from a corner.

 Harrogate's No. 10 is given a talking to by the referee.

The Colls' players celebrate their third goal of the afternoon... (0-3).

...And are soon joined by more of their team mates (0-3).

 Pontefract look to further extend their lead.

Another attack soon follows.

A Pontefract player looks to keep the ball in play...

...But a Harrogate defender sees out the danger.

It was unfortunately at this point where the limitations of my camera (and lens) meant that conditions became too dark to shoot in, and so I decided to put my camera away.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Leicester City: Is the Foxes' current position really that surprising?

After last weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures, one question remains on everybody’s lips: ‘will Leicester City have been relegated come the end of the season?’

The Foxes could become the first defending champions of England to be relegated from the top flight since 1938, when Manchester City dropped into the second tier just a year after securing the title.

Despite the rarity of this occurrence, its possibility has become an increasingly likely reality for Leicester after they lost their fifth consecutive Premier League game on Sunday – a 2-0 defeat away to Swansea. The result leaves the champions sitting precariously in 17th position, with just one place and one point separating them from the relegation zone.

Throughout the previous week, even before Sunday’s loss, discussion amongst journalists, and pundits alike, was rife regarding the cause of Leicester’s rather dramatic fall from grace. A multitude of factors have been cited as a cause of this, including Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez’s struggle for form, as well as the sale of N’Golo Kante to Chelsea in the summer for around £30 million.

Struggling for form: Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez

Ultimately, several factors have been deemed accountable for Leicester’s current plight, and whilst there is undoubtedly a stark contrast between this season and last for the Midlands club, I fail to see why this has come as a surprise to so many.

Let us not forget that this is only the club’s third season back in the Premier League following their promotion from the Championship in 2014, and that for much of their first season back in 'the big time' they sat rock bottom of the table, with only a miraculous run of games ensuring their safety.

Not only this, but such a dip in form is not exactly a distant memory for Premier League fans. Just last season we saw the reigning champions Chelsea drop as low as 17th place in the table, despite retaining a squad that was considerably stronger than Leicester’s is now. This squad included the likes of PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard, 20-goal Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas (18 assists), and Thibaut Courtois, who secured an impressive 12 clean sheets.

If that Chelsea team could suffer such a dip in form, then surely it can’t be so shocking to see Leicester, a side who sat bottom of the Premier League just two seasons ago, suffer a relatively similar slump?

Before the current season had even begun, many speculated as to what impact the added commitment of Champions League football would have on the title winners, with some suggesting that the extra games would take a heavy toll on the squad.

Statistics now show that the fixtures have indeed had an impact, with Leicester not picking up a single win in Premier League games that have preceded a Group G match in the Champions League – losing five and drawing just one.

As many journalists and fans have already suggested, last season’s title winning campaign was a one-off. A fluke, Something that will never again be repeated.

If we therefore take this exceptional year out of the equation, and consider that it was only the season before last that the Foxes were involved a relegation battle, it really should come as no surprise that we are seeing a repeat situation this time around. Add in the loss of N’Golo Kante, as well as the added commitment of Champions League football to the equation, and Leicester’s current league position becomes ever less surprising.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Gabriel Jesus: Star in the making?

When Manchester City signed Gabriel Jesus in the January transfer window for £27 million, I doubt too many fans would have expected the 19-year-old to hit the ground running in quite the immediate manner he has done.

Whilst the Brazilian forward came to England with an already impressive CV under his belt, as well as a growing reputation, his signing was mostly billed as ‘one for the future’ with City already having the services of Sergio Aguero, Nolito and Kelechi Iheanacho at their disposal.

Despite this, Jesus has quickly found his way into the Manchester club’s starting-XI; netting a notable three goals, and contributing a further two assists, in just four appearances for his new side.

A record such as this was bound to draw attention to the player as it was, but with Sunday’s performance against Swansea proving to be a match winning one, Jesus’ name will only be thrust further into the headlines. What I want to ask though is whether we’re at risk of getting carried away in our praise of the young man’s form? 

Gabriel Jesus

For any forward, it is generally a given that three goals in their first four games would be considered a good return. In Jesus' case, however, it should not be forgotten that two of his three goals so far have come against a Swansea side which has conceded a divisional high 54 goals in 24 games - an average of over two goals per match. Not only this, but the striker's first goal for the club came against a West Ham side who have leaked 12 goals in just three games against City this season.

A case can also be made to suggest that Jesus’ match winning goal against Swansea was somewhat fortuitous as before eventually scoring, the Brazilian forward squandered a great chance to secure the points; placing a tame header at the gloves of Lukasz Fabianski. Luckily for the number 33 though, the Swans’ goalkeeper was unable to keep hold of the ball and Jesus was gifted with a second opportunity to finish; a chance which he duly took.

Despite the clear element of luck to this goal, there is an argument to be made that you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time to score, and that regardless of the opposition it was still Jesus’ two goals that earnt City an invaluable three points on Sunday.

Moments of brilliance have also been apparent in his appearances so far. A stunning assist in the FA Cup fourth round against Crystal Palace particularly stands out, and another brilliant assist would have followed in the Premier League had David Silva converted the Brazilian's back heeled flick into a goal.

As well as this, pundits have also been quick to praise the youngster’s visible confidence on the ball, specifically singling out his athleticism and intelligent forward thinking. Whilst these are all great traits to have, is it not a bit early to be giving a 19-year-old such high praise?

Obviously, a footballer cannot make his name in just four games, and with Jesus being so new to the Premier League it’ll be hard to truly gauge his potential until he secures a prolonged spell in the City team. The youngster has certainly made some impact already though, and I for one very much look forward to seeing the development of Gabriel Jesus as a Manchester City player.