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BEHIND THE SCENES: An insight to The Bootiful Game!

Over the last few weeks TBG has come in for some criticism with regards to certain managers comments and what they have been saying, in particular about officials.

One of the comments also referenced that we are just a “copy and paste” website, so here at TBG Towers, we thought we’d show you what goes on behind the scenes leading up to a weekend.

Wednesday, 2pm: It’s Wednesday afternoon, I [Craig-Editor], have just picked up the kids from school, and just before I pop their tea into the oven, I make a start on the upcoming weekend’s games that we are previewing.

Out goes the standard message to Ian Robinson asking if he is available for a few previews, and within minutes he replies saying he is [great!]. Colin Muncie is always available for a few (!) And they are both great at what they do (Thank you!).

3pm:Now we know the state of play, the kids tea’s go into the oven, now it is time to send the 48 messages to various managers, assistants and players for their comments.

We always send the same sentence to them all so there is no bias, “Hey mate, hope you’re well, we are after your thoughts on Saturday’s game please, and anything else you want to add. Thanks.” That’s it. We don’t ask for anything in particular just a general overview and if they want to add anything in then that’s great. As my fine wife would say – the longer the better! (Editors note – I’m only 5’10” – on a good day so she isn’t referring to myself there!).

4.15pm: “Ping! Ping!”…the messages are starting to come through. I sit there at home keeping an eye on the kids, now having their tea, and slowly wade through the messages that are already coming through, and start to divvy them up, sending certain ones to certain people who like writing about that club. Not saying our writers have favourites but over the last year or so we know certain quips about managers and like to add in little jokes and phrases.

4.45pm: Kids sorted and now playing, I ensure all the fixtures are on the website and that we are set for a busy weekend.

5.30pm: After checking Twitter and Facebook for the 100th time today, we check a few other sources for any latest stories, then “Ping!”, Colin has already sent one through, via Margaret (our excellent proof reader).

Now, it takes around 5-8 minutes to put it on the site, along with coming up with the headline, finding an image, saving, publishing, adding to Facebook then Twitter, and tagging and sharing it to the various people. (Times this by 25 or so previews, it’s not a quick “fix”)

6-8.30pm: A message has come through from Craig Denton and Colin Heath, I ring them both for their thoughts then send them off to our transcriber Ellie. Throughout the night we get various messages through from managers and from Ian for previews. Our cut off is around 8.30pm for articles as any later and it’s not viable for viewers.

Thursday, 6am: Before work we post a couple more previews, saving the ones already written for our break, then this evening.

3pm: More messages have appeared throughout the day, so we divvy them up and write a couple while waiting for the kids to finish school.

5pm: Kids are fed and watered, time to put a couple more on.

7pm: And repeat…

8pm: Squeeze tea in and then a couple more online…

Friday, 6am: We have a limited amount of time today, work until 3, kids to pick up, then Man Vs Fat Football from 5.45-7.45. Waking up early and putting as many online as possible is the target.

11am: Put the rest online during my break at work.

3pm: Pick kids up, then “Ping!” Another manager has replied.

5.45pm: We are back on track, all online, time for ‘fatty’ football…

8pm: We lost this week, put on 0.2kg of weight but lost 8.1kg in 14 weeks so all good overall.

10pm: “Ping! Ping!” Had two late messages, I message Colin and send them over to him for the morning.

Saturday, 8am: Cheeky lie in and two emails have arrived with the final previews. 28 previews done and online over the course of 3 days. Now time to chill before the scores at 3pm.

2.45pm: Usually we are in place somewhere, ready to rock and roll, keeping an eye on 40 teams over two divisions bringing the latest scores but today we are 40 miles away in Hull…shopping! (Sometimes we go to games, take photographs and do the scores, but with the cold weather and four kids who don’t like football – it’s impossible until it becomes warmer!)

4pm: We arrive at the mother-in-laws in time to check all the half-time scores and update quickly. We are now set for the second-half.

5pm: All the full-time scores are now in and time to send nearly 50 messages out for their thoughts on today’s games.

6pm: It has been quiet, just two replies so far. Ian has been messaged and can do a couple tonight (Great!).

7pm: We’ve had another 6 during the last hour, we ring Craig Denton, and have managed to match a couple up so we can do one article with two managers/opposing opinions.

9pm: Two articles online, the rest can wait until the morning.

Sunday, 7am: Alarm set early and off we go again. Writing up articles, posting, sending them off to Colin etc.

11.45am: We spend most of the morning on my phone posting articles before we go back to the mother-in-law’s for Sunday dinner.

2pm: More messages, more articles and this continues for the next few hours.

8pm: Time to relax after another busy few days. Add in midweek games which are just starting to rear their heads again and we are always on the move here at TBG!

9pm: “Ping!” one final message has appeared, which is then sent to Colin…this must be the final one!

Monday, 7am: That’s it, the final report is online and we can now start on the midweek matches…we love what we do TBG!

About our writers

Colin Muncie has been instrumental in his work for TBG since August 2017, and with over 3,000 articles to his name, we are really proud to have him on board: “We don’t do opinion pieces and we value the contributions of managers etc and always try to reflect them fairly. “

Ian Robinson has not been with us long, since September but has gone from strength to strength and helps out as much as possible.

Margaret Gregory is our proof reader: “An older lady who loves the correct use of grammar and punctuation. [5 years of grammar school in the late 1950’s & ‘60’s, where learning English grammar was compulsory]. As it’s too cold sometimes for an old body to watch the games [why can’t they play in summer], I get great enjoyment from observing the management teams banter while proofing the articles.”

Ellie Dalglish came on board to help us with transcribing, as it’s a key skill within itself, and she has worked tirelessly on certain articles to ensure our work is always bang up to date. “I’m pretty new to non-league football so, when I began going to the matches, I quickly picked up TBG on Twitter.

“The website and magazine helped me learn who was who in the NCEL, plus it’s all done in such a friendly fashion, which suits Steps 5 and 6 perfectly. It was a no-brainer to offer my help on the admin side of things to help keep the news flowing.

“It’s great to feel a part of something so positive and successful plus, with footie being my true love, it doesn’t feel that much like work! It’s a genuine pleasure to be involved with TBG and I hope our work helps so many others feel a welcome part of the non-league family.”

Definitely no copy and paste from us!

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