Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I spent a very pleasant few hours yesterday indulging myself in my non league football obsession.

First up was the live game between York City and Darlington in the Blue Square Premier. Not a classic, but it was football to watch! I watched the second half with the sound down so that I could catch the latest episode of the Non League Football Show live.

Towards the end of that though I made the switch to live internet radio commentary of the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round replay at Kingsmeadow between Kingstonian and Margate, which had gone in to extra time tied at one apiece.

What a great decision that proved to be and yes, you could say I could do with getting out more!!

We've taken an interest in Kingstonian for a wee while now at AFTN and plan to take in one of their matches in November on our footballing travels we have planned.

Their game last night went to penalties and what an exciting shoot out that was to listen to. The first five penalties were scored, the next five missed, Kingstonian went through 3-2 and then there was a rammy in the middle to round things off! Great stuff.

What was also great stuff was the actual commentary itself. I'd gone on to the Kingstonian official website in what I'd thought would be the faint hope of finding some kind of audio commentary. They had live text but no audio as I thought. I then thought I'd check out the official Margate website and success!

Margate have a tremendous set up. They have Gate Radio, which is Margate FC's own official internet based radio station. Available exclusively via the club's official website, they aim to bring supporters full match commentary from all Margate's home games and selected away games, where facilities allow. The commentary from each live game is recorded and made available via the website for supporters to listen to on demand. They also provide post match reaction through interviews with management and players and other news from club officials.

It's cracking stuff from the Ryman Premier League side, especially when you consider that they have home crowds of around the three or four hundred most weeks, so they're not catering to the masses. The commentator is also very enjoyable to listen to, unlike some we have to endure on our televisions each week.

The whole thing got me thinking about how great it would be for us exiles, and those closer to home that can't make the games, if East Fife had something similar.

We finally got East Fife TV up and running last season and this term that has gone from strength to strength and has been fantastic so far.

If we could take this further and offer live radio commentary of our home and away games (assuming that the SFL's archaic legislation allows for such a thing), then I would be in heaven, as would many others.

Obviously a lot hinges on someone wanting to volunteer to doing this and for us to be allowed to do it, but it's an exciting prospect, to me at least!

Whether this is something that the Trust can look in to in association with the local colleges, I don't know, but as a member I'll be raising the idea to find out.

If a Club the size of Margate can have such a fantastic set up, then hopefully we can do the same. Who knows, it may give us a whole host of new, far flung fans from around the world cheering on the mighty Black and Gold.

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