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BILLY'S CONTRACT


Not that you would notice it, but slowly, very slowly, the Pools streaming service has improved ever so slightly.

We now see a clock on the top of the screen allowing the viewer to see how many minutes of the game have been played. Surely even at this rate of pace it can only be a matter of months before we enjoy seeing replays. The picture quality is a mite better and the camera at times is keeping up with the play.

I was surprised to hear mumbles of criticism from some quarters levelled at match day commentator Alex Chandy who is also the clubs media officer. Apparently some clown complained that he was unable to pronounce the name of one of the away players. For the record it took me the best part of a season to be able to pronounce Dimi's surname correctly.

I am guessing that he is a young lad just fresh out of College/Uni having majored in  journalistic studies. Possessing a degree in media studies doesn't automatically entitle one for a job in this field as the competition for work is fierce with too many people chasing the same job. Not unlike a fashion and design or a sports psychology degree, only a select few fulfil their dreams of working for a top London fashion house or a Football League club, or for that matter, working for a regional newspaper let alone a national one.
" let's not forget that when Mark Simpson first joined the club he too, like Alex, was a little green and still learning his trade."

I am sure that Alex is delighted to be at Pools. He had big boots to fill after Mark Simpson was let go by the club but let's not forget that when Mark Simpson first joined the club he too, like Alex, was a little green and still learning his trade. This came through on some of his early interviews with players and you can see that he is a bit rushed and naïve with the dead give-away nervous laugh. Over time Mark became more controlled and self-assured. To his credit Alex Chandy has become more confident with each broadcast as well as his pre- and post-match interviews with the likes of Dave 'Cheers, thank you' Challinor. I don't know if Alex is from the town or not but his knowledge of Pools is very good.

One has to say the early streaming services from the Vic were very poor at best and my heart went out to this cub reporter who had to continually apologise to the viewers week in and week out for the poor quality of the picture, let alone commentate on the match. To his credit he kept his calm and, as they say, carried on. I would like to see if some of his critics could perform any better in such circumstances. I feel most would throw their headphones down onto the Millhouse terrace and say "That's it, I'm off." I know I would have.

As I mentioned earlier, he is still a rookie and there are certain areas that are in need of improvement such as being slightly more impartial in his commentary - it only winds people up - not only away fans but home fans like myself. He would do well to take a leaf from some of the away commentary teams such as at Wrexham and Maidstone who were excellent.

There are though some areas for fine tuning. Alex has recently developed the annoying habit of, when Pools score, going into Alistair Brownlee mode, shouting and screaming at the top of his voice which is bloody annoying and embarrassing. He sounds like he is a member of the studio audience for Strictly Come Dancing. There is a time and place for this moronic behaviour, such as when Pools score a last-minute winner in the play-off finals.

At times I think that he needs to slow down the pace of his commentary, be more measured and not overly excited. I was going to suggest sub-titles but apart from the fact that Pools' streaming service hasn't yet got round to showing replays, that is unlikely to happen and besides, the sub-titles would have a job keeping up with him. A quality he does have is not allowing long quiet spots and has always something to say as well as bringing in his co-commentator at the right time.

It may well be that both parties, Alex and Pools, have benefitted each other with Alex gaining journalistic experience at a high level thus raising his profile within his industry. Pools on the other hand having someone to keep the club's own profile in the public eye.

Given the club's circumstances, I cannot work out in my mind if Pools are paying Alex a modest wage or if he is paying Pools for the privilege of gaining broadcasting experience as well as getting his name known in media circles.

Keep up the good work Alex and, who knows we, could have another Jeff Stelling in the making or if things go the other way ...a Greg Dyke.

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