The next in our series of our ‘Why I love love’ is Andrew Neill, who volunteers as part of our Media team at Inver Park. Andrew tells us why he got involved in the club and what his role involves.
What’s your name and what is your role at Larne Football Club?
Andrew Neill, Graphics Designer and Media team member
What do you do within your role on a daily basis at the club?
Typically, most of my working days differ from one another. However, one daily constant is that I am in communication with the media team as we strive to provide the highest standard of content for our audience. I work closely with Chris Liddle, Head of Marketing at the club, where it is my role to turn his ideas into content. I get an email from Chris every weekend which details the graphics that must be produced for the following week, from there it’s up to me. Designs can take anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours depending on the scale of the project, research time, and further elements. An example of my most recent work is the wallpapers and the profile picture change.
A major factor of our social media success is the willingness of our media volunteers. Every volunteer puts in countless hours to ensure the club can achieve what every supporter knows it can. We all pull in the same direction with the ambition of our media output competing with those on the European stage.
With matchdays being different, what would you do for a home game at Inver Park?
Recently I have been taking photographs on matchdays. I can use these photos throughout the graphics that I produce which makes my job an awful lot easier. These photos can also be used on our social platforms without being edited to highlight moments in the game or if we have an article being posted on a particular player. I will also post stories onto our Facebook page to try and keep fans who are not at the game involved, including a pre-game build-up which might entice them to come to Inver. Before a game, I send graphic templates to Ian Cahoon who will update and post them to twitter.
Previously on matchdays, I have filmed the game for Tiernan’s analysis, recorded footage to be used in our matchday highlights, and ran the twitter account on a few occasions providing the match updates to supporters who can’t make it to Inver.
How did you get involved with Larne Football Club?
My Dad has been a supporter of the club from the late 70’s I believe, he brought me up to be a Larne supporter. Larne was an integral part of my childhood as we travelled from Banbridge every weekend to watch the reds and I have a fond memory of being a mascot when we played Bangor in November 2002.
I developed an interest in media and marketing during my education and saw an opportunity to develop as a professional whilst helping the club around the time of the take-over. I got in touch over Facebook to express my interest where I was later invited to a meeting with both Gavin Clements and Andrew Scullion to discuss. I haven’t looked back since this point, volunteering a mass amount of time and seeing the fruits of my labour as the club decided to use my new badge design and invited me to the pre-season trip to Poland at the start of the season.
Do you have another job outside of Larne FC? If so, what are they and what do they involve?
I’m currently a full-time student, I’ve just finished my second year of Interactive Computing at Jordanstown. A lot of what I study is based around the development of websites, online security, software development etc. I find that my time at Larne has really helped with my studies as I have the real life experience where many don’t.
I also have a part-time job with Adidas, where my role is to assist customers wherever I can by suggesting products based on their needs and answering questions. My role also involves delivery processing and stock control.
Do you find it easy to manage your other commitments along with your role at the club, how do you do it?
I’ve never been great at managing time; I usually turn up late to wherever I go and submit assignments 10 minutes before they’re due. This, alongside full-time education and effectively having two jobs, has been difficult, but I’m a firm believer in ‘you get out what you put in’. I changed my shifts at Adidas so that I worked early enough on a Saturday to clock out in time to drive from Banbridge to Larne for 3pm. I’ve also been working with the 1889 Sports & Social Club on their graphics, which has seen more time swallowed, but I will do anything I can to help the club. I will do most of my Larne and 1889 workload on a Sunday night, but Chris Liddle has pulled me out of several holes with his flexibility on deadlines and understanding of my situation.
And finally, why do you love the club and what motivates you to carry out your role at Larne Football Club?
As football fans, we all live for derby days, cup finals, and competing for the league. In the last 18 months, we’ve had our highs and lows but there is no other club where I can experience the level of camaraderie and euphoria that I have. Seeing Larne lift a trophy and beating the Glens and Blues in the same week are feelings that I cannot describe and memories I will not forget. Experiencing this with the people I love is what has motivated me and why I love Larne FC.