Welcome to Mansfield
Hi, my name is Brian, I’m 24 years old and have worked for a UK wide charity for the last two and a half years. I previously interned in the House of Lords, I am also volunteering for York Pride.
That’s an odd introduction for a football blog, but that was my life before getting an opportunity at AFC Mansfield, an opportunity I never expected, but then could never reject when it arrived. However, very few know how it emerged so here’s the story.
One night in early March I saw an advert on the Northern Counties East League Twitter page; AFC Mansfield were looking for a Commercial Manager, other clubs were also advertising. I was perhaps a little bitter about not even getting an interview with Yeovil Town Ladies, but despite missing out on a full-time job I still wanted to fulfil my passion for the sport somewhere; so decided to put in a highly speculative CV and Cover Letter to AFC Mansfield, then never expected to hear from them ever again.
Two days later, I get an email from Andy Saunders, AFC Mansfield Chairman asking me to call him. I was suddenly shocked, but phoned him as soon as I left work. Half an hour later, I’ve been offered an opportunity with a football club. “Is this really happening” was my first thought. Over the next few days I decide that this is a great opportunity, accepted it and over the next week resigned as Secretary of York Pride knowing I wouldn’t have the time to commit to that position anymore. I felt sad but felt this was necessary as I could no longer commit and I plan to still be involved whenever I can be involved.
A week or two later the big day arrived, AFC Mansfield vs Barton Town Old Boys, my first experience of the Forest Town Arena. Andy meets me for the first time at the station and then takes me to the ground, on arrival I get a tour of the ground and see all the facilities. To me, this ground looks awesome, I see the hospitality room, the bar and the pavilion (yes pavilion) where a lot of fans can stand in and I feel impressed. I’m instantly sold by Andy and all the people I met at the club were brilliant people to meet. So now I just look forward to the game, should be an easy win, right?
AFC Mansfield lose 1–0 to a side in a relegation battle…. Oops (Well played Barton I was the naive one).
I got roped into filming the game, I don’t think I did a terrible job, feel free to watch it.
Despite the result, I knew I was getting involved with an amazing project. Over the following weeks and months, I got to know all the backroom staff and even Rudi Funk the Manager. The last few games of the season ignoring results were amazing fun to go to.
I’ve enjoyed every moment, and now very excited for next season.