Hurriedly stuffing my commentary equipment into my bags and rushing down to the press room/reception/once and future club shop to try to get there before the manager turns up!
Trying, and usually failing, to avoid the results on the TV in the corner as I like to be surprised by Match of the Day.
Lurking in the corridor outside Wrexham’s changing room afterwards to chat to players while they’re teased by their passing team mates!
Tomorrow promises to be more interesting than usual though, as there are a couple of intriguing elements thrown in:
1. The Celebrity Manager. There’s always an extra frisson of excitement when a big name comes into a press conference. What will Dietmar Hamann be like? Will he have a terrific air of authority like Tony Adams, who filled the room when he arrived as Wycombe manager and demanded respect? Will he be strangely withdrawn like Kevin Keegan, who in contrast to Adams slinked in and slumped in a seat almost unnoticed, and was the only manager I’ve seen who conducted the whole interview sitting down, looking at the floor throughout? Or will be have some bizarrely mesmerising distinguishing feature like Ian Dowie, whose words hardly registered with me as I stared at the strange golf ball-sized shape that bulged out from under his t-shirt?
My money’s on Hamann following in Keegan example, as he seems to struggle to make eye contact when I’ve seen him on TV, with a dash of Dowie in his unnerving habit of blinking savagely.
There’s a complication though. Usually the opposing manager doesn’t actually come to the press room. It’s down to the fact that at the lower levels of the game things often don’t follow a pattern so a regulated press conference isn’t always something which happens, or which the opposing journalists are used to. Therefore the visiting journalists tend to grab their man, or get him up to the radio point, and do him separately. Hopefully that doesn’t happen tomorrow, as I want to get the chance to ask him no questions! I know my place and try not to throw questions at the managers as I’ve seen them storm out at an injudicious enquiry; I don’t want to be the person who does that and therefore denies quotes to the journos who are actually making a living rather than just living the dream!
2. Silent Chris. It’s very rare that a Wrexham player will refuse an interview.A very youthful Levi Mackin did once at Hartlepool, but it was purely down to embarrassment, and Premiership loanee Mike Lake once demanded payment to be interviewed for a club video (and then, I’m told, went back into the changing room and told his team mates what he’d done, and was told to get back out there and do it for free…which he did!) I’ve even spoken to Karl Connolly, who was notoriously reluctant to face the press. But one player eluded me. One player constantly rebuffed my advances. Chris Blackburn is my bete noir.
I don’t know why he was so taciturn. I do know that I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I was watching Stockport on TV last week and commentator Ian Snodin described him as “a great talker”. Will I try him again tomorrow? Maybe, just for fun! I wonder what he’ll say?