2016-17 Football Pre-Season Friendly - Burton Albion FC v Stoke City FC

July 17, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Hello sports fans,

This weekend I returned to shooting football for Action Plus Sports Images as pre-season friendlies kicked off with Burton Albion FC at home to Stoke City FC. Burton Albion FC were promoted from Sky Bet League 1 to the Sky Bet Championship and are looking to continue their success in the Championship. Last season the club was managed by Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink but he left to manage QPR and Nigel Clough returned for a second spell as manager in December 2015.

My last visit to Burton Albion FC was almost a year ago and for this friendly pre-season match both teams made a number of changes. During the first half both teams were testing each other and probing the opposition's defence and one shot did end up in the Burton goal from Stoke's Joselu but it was disallowed for offside. In the first few minutes of the second half Burton's Chris O'Grady calmly guided the ball in to the back of the Stoke goal. Again in the 58th minute, Chris O'Grady produced a fine header to pass the Stoke goalkeeper for his second. To add insult to injury, Burton's Akins scored in the 87th minute. It was a good performance by the Burton team to come away with a 3-0 against a Premiership side. Along with Burton's previous pre-season win, the club is looking good for the upcoming season.

The Pirelli Stadium is a relatively small stadium with a capacity of almost 7,000 compared to other Championship teams (i.e. Derby County has almost 36,000 seats). I arrived around three hours before the kick off and once parked I walked over to the stadium entrance. After the usual security checks and collecting my accreditation and bib I walked over to their media room. It was good to see that the media room had become a more dedicated room instead of staff office/media room as in the past. I suppose with their rise to the Championship they anticipate more media attending than in previous seasons.  Once I set up a base in the room, I made my way out to the pitch to see what had changed and mark my spot. This season, photographers were restricted to two locations, one corner on either side of the pitch. There are no ethernet ports on pitch side which means using mobile communications to transmit images. Thankfully with the reduced capacity this means less congestion on the networks and faster transmit times.

As with all stadiums, I did a complete walk around to see what unique views I can capture as well as keeping an eye out for interesting stories on the day. Once I downloaded, edited, captioned and uploaded my pre-match images, I was off to the pitch again to see the supporters arrive and capture any that stand out. It is always good to see and capture imagery of the people that made an effort to dress up for the match. After setting up my laptop on pitch side it was time for the teams to warm up. It usual for me to capture images of prominent players or players in the news at the time. I suspect team strips will change but with new players on both sides necessary to capture portraits of the players for stock use.

After downloading and captioning my images they were uploaded to the server. Shooting football for the wire services requires some multi-tasking skills as you are always trying to do a numbers of jobs simultaneously and also be very efficient in your workflow. We must constantly and simultaneously watch the action, capture images, download images, caption images, edit images and upload images to the news wire. It takes time to master the skill and it is high pressure work which I love since you are working full on from the whistle to an hour after the match ends.

As always, it was a pleasure to see the players perform from a close viewpoint and the match provided a selection of images which can be seen on the Action Plus Sports Images website.


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