Wigan Athletic have got themselves a new media manager and a familiar name he is.
Vital Latics managed to grab a few moments with a very busy man and see how life under Roberto Martinez and the challenges of a new role at the club are shaping up, read on:
Since former media manager Andy Maxey departed and followed his old boss Steve Bruce up to the North East, the change has been quite noticeable on the clubs official site, it`s like a breath of fresh air with some good articles and news bulletin`s being published keeping the clubs fans happy with their hunger for news concerning the Latics.
But the new guy isn`t that new and he has been around the club for quite a while, its journalist, author and musician Ed Jones.
Hi Ed, hope you are well and have been enjoying your new role at the club?
Yes, it`s a challenge but so far so good. We have a fantastic new manager and some people behind him who have tremendous affinity for the club, like Graham Jones and Graham Barrow, to add to old father time Cribbers, who is Mr Wigan Athletic. So that`s a massive head start.
Aren`t you a Latics fan? I remember you attending Springfield Park back in the 1980`s when you worked for the Wigan Reporter.
Yes. My first game was against Bolton in 1985, when my then wife to be`s brother Graham took me down. We lost but I was hooked. I don`t profess to be a Wiganer, I was born in Switzerland, but my downfall was meeting a girl from Standish.
I`ve followed the club since `85 then, as a reporter in the early 90`s ‘just as a supporter` until 2005, when I came in to edit the programme with Matt McCann, and the role has evolved to include player liaison, and now I`m running the media department.
Funny how things change. My proudest achievement has been to convince my two children, now 11 and 8, to become die hard Tics in the face of pressure to support teams who wear red shirts!
I have noticed that the clubs official web site has been a lot more active of late on the news and article front, is that something you`ve made a conscious effort to do?
Yes. I feel this is important.
We have a small team, but we are dedicated. I have brought in a new assistant called Paul Chialton, who`s role is to try and get stories on the site, as well as help with the programme. We also have Stewart Frodsham, our webmaster, who is the technical brains behind the team.
My role is as overseer, making sure our media coverage generally is as positive as it can be and working closely with Roberto on the media side. Plus we have to get the players out and about in the community as much as we can.
Will you be re-opening the forum on the site, or will you be leaving the chat and message boards to the independents?
There are no plans to do that at the moment. We seem to have a pretty healthy community out there anyway, plus if they`re not linked to the club, they can let off steam without fear of reprimand from Big Brother!!
How`s life under Roberto, is he has nice with the players has he is when dealing with the media and the fans?
Roberto is a top, top man, but believe me is has a tough streak too.
He is a real student of the game and the players are loving life under him. But as you say, he is a lovely guy too, who understands that although the football side is crucial, the other aspects of the job – such as doing his media work and talking to the fans – is an important part of the job.
Graeme Jones is also very approachable guy – as is Graham Barrow – and together they form a great partnership. It might not happen straightaway but as Graeme told me the other day, ‘If we could get them playing football in League One, it should be easier in the Premier League.` Let`s hope so, but we`ve all got to be patient and have faith because there is a pretty fundamental change going on at our club and we need the fans to buy into the big picture.
Have you enjoyed being away with the squad this week and how have the players taken to being away from their families at the height of summer?
Austria has been good, a chance for the players to get to know Roberto and his working methods, and for me personally, a chance to do what I like best – write!! But it`s been pretty intense for them, three sessions a day some days and the temperature is very warm. Footballers are creatures of habit, but they understand that pre-season tours are a part of the build up, and they have been putting in their shifts this week!
Your book Northern Soul was a brilliant read and I couldn`t put it down, I think it`s a must for all Latics fans and gave a real insight into the day to day happenings at our beloved club, are you planning a sequel?
Thank you very much; it was a laugh to write it.
No plans for a sequel, unless I can convince a publisher. It would be great, there would be some great stories to tell, believe me. Being on the bench and in the dressing room for ‘The Battle of Sheffield` would be a book in itself!!
The problem is that we`re not a story anymore, if you know what I mean. That`s great because we`ve become accepted as a Premier League club and people have got used to us being here. We`re not even favourites to go down any more!!.
Finally Ed, I know you are a busy man but I can`t let you go without asking, any gossip on incoming transfers?
Roberto has said publicly that he wants to bring in some more faces before August 31, hasn`t he? One thing I can tell you for certain is that he will have analysed our strengths and weaknesses and know exactly the type of player he wants to bring in.
Thank you very much for your time Ed, really appreciate it. Enjoy your new role at the club
Vital Latics would just like to say a massive thanks to the new Wigan Athletic Media Manager, Ed Jones for taking some time out of his busy schedule to speak to us, exciting times ahead, bring it on
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