FC Isle of Man crest


Our Head of Media recently sat down with programme editor Manuela Swiatek to discuss his role and what it involves.

What persuaded you to get involved with FC Isle of Man, and how long have you been volunteering for?

During the opening season (2021/22), my brother in law Mark Potts (former Head of Matchday Operations and Co-Founder of FC Isle of Man) asked me would I be interested in getting involved with the media team. I met with Tom Brew (Former Head of Digital) and started volunteering just before Christmas in the opening season. My roll has grown since then and I am delighted to now be Head of Media for the club.

Your roll is somewhat “behind the scenes” but an essential part of how the club presents itself to its supporters and the wider public, tell us about your role and how much time and effort is involved.

The roll is really varied and that is why I enjoy it so much. It is everything from the essentials of making sure that our website is up to date with the latest fixture changed to ensuring that from a media perspective we are fulfilling contracts with sponsors.

This is what the role tends to look like throughout the week:

  • Monday – Social Media match reaction from the game on Saturday, typically match highlights & goals.
  • Tuesday – Creation of Facebook & Instagram adverts to promote the game at the weekend & posting a player profile or meet the volunteer on the website
  • Wednesday – Ensuring that sponsors requirements are being met/sponsor announcement
  • Thursday – Writing match preview to include the squad news once received from the players management
  • Friday – Ensuring that between the media team we know our roles for the game & that we have something going out on Social Media to promote the game that evening. Creating & sending tickets for winner of the Manx Telecom social media competition
  • Saturday – Covering the match and checking that all ticket requirements & enquiries have been dealt with ahead of the game. Updating the result on the website post match.
  • Sunday – Adding Match Report to website, editing the match highlights, posting Man of the Match from the game

This is a typical week in my role however it can vary depending on if we are home or away and any commercial news coming out of the club. For example last week a lot of work went in to liaising with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company to announce the new sponsorship. This week I have been focussing on the B&B Furniture announcement, promoting ‘A Night at the Races’ which was held last night and the promotion of the upcoming February Half Term Football Camp.

Currently on average my volunteer time for the club is between 20 & 30 hours per week.

What is your usual routine on matchdays?

Typically on a matchday the first thing that I do is recheck
availability with the other brilliant members of the media team. The • next job is to then charge all of

the batteries for the game, this includes the two GoPros that we place just inside the goal that FC Isle of Man are attacking and also the microphones that we use for the interviews pre and post match.

I usually receive the all important • team news between 3pm & 4pm from player secretary Craig
Cowin and between the team we will create the Starting XI graphic and get it scheduled for 45 minutes before kick off.

I tend to get to The Bowl between 4:15pm & 4:30pm to record the pre match interview with Manager Paul Jones and the chosen player that week at 4:40. The next job is to post these to YouTube and get them in the schedule for Social Media.

The final couple of jobs before kick off is to make sure that the stream is working & set up the GoPros in the goal. Once the game has kicked off the media team all have their own set roles and this varies each week depending how many of us are available. The roles to fill are:

  • Tweets & HT/FT on Facebook/Instagram
  • Match Highlights
  • Match Report
  • InterviewsPost match, we retrieve the GoPros & record the post match interviews then head home and begin to plan/update Social Media.

Tell us about the other members of the media team and their main roles

The media team is filled by four individuals (including myself) all of which have main individual roles however that being said we all help each other out if anyone is short on time that week to fulfil their role.

  • Sophie Stoutt – Sophie was a welcome addition to the team in July 2022! Her main role is planning and creating content for Social Media along with helping on matchday with either tweets and build up or clipping the match highlights.
  • Mike Holt – Mike has been at the club since the start (July 2020), his main role now is running the popular Ravenscast which I would encourage you all to go and watch/listen. Mike also does the majority of our interviews whether it be matchday interviews or interviewing sponsors.
  • Darren Timson – Darren is the newest member of the media team joining at the start of this season. He is in his third of studying Sports Journalism at Liverpool John Moores University. Being based in Liverpool, he is able to help with a lot of the away games. When back on Island, he helps at the games by either interview- ing or doing the match report.

Are there any moments that particularly stand out for during your time volunteering for FC Isle of Man?

The obvious one would be the promotion to the league that we are currently in. It was surreal to be in a situation that tickets were selling out and they were starting to appear on Facebook buying and selling sites, ticket touting for FC Isle of Man!

From a media point of view something we have tried really hard to push, promote and improve this season is the Ravenscast and I think this has been really well received.

Where do you think FC Isle of Man will finish this season?

It would have been nice to be able to push for a place in the play-offs this season but I think even finishing in the top half and just outside the promotion places would be a great position for the club to be in going into next season.

What are your interests outside of FC Isle of Man?

There’s time outside of FC Isle of Man? 😱

Outside of the club I run my own business CJS Limited, offering website building and photography services to the Isle of Man and further afield. In terms of hobbies, a little known fact within the club is that I have a horse and used to (when time allowed) compete in Eventing competitions across the UK being the first person to complete Badminton Grassroots Horse Trials from the Isle of Man. I am a big Manches- ter United Fan and regularly attend games at Old Trafford. I was actually a mascot in 2007 walking out with Ryan Giggs in the FA Cup Semi Final at Villa Park vs Watford.

And final question, Official Mascot Ted Bear or Unofficial Mascot Raymond Raven?

Unofficial Mascot Raymond Raven