This weekend saw me visiting two hugely contrasting grounds, to cover football at opposite ends of the professional spectrum.
On Saturday, I made my way to Vale Park in Burslem, on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent, to cover Port Vale vs. Gillingham, a top-of-the-table clash in League 2, the lowest tier in the English Football League. And on Sunday, it was off to the Etihad Stadium in Manchester for Manchester City vs. Arsenal, this time in the Premier League.
It’s not always the big games with the big teams at the big grounds that produce the best pictures, and certainly not the best working environments either. There were just 4 photographers at Vale Park…we were allowed to sit anywhere we wanted, and didn’t have to worry about a lack of signal to send our pictures, nor an hour-long delay in the car park afterwards to leave. It had a tight-knit atmosphere and, despite their loss, the home fans were all too happy to applaud their team’s efforts after the match and simply accept the defeat, rather than argue their points with the visitors and officials alike.
Manchester City, on the other hand, has become one of (if not, THE) richest clubs in the world. And yet, the working positions there are fairly terrible. With a small pit built at one end of the ground, on one side of the goal, that is our only hope of having a nice position to shoot from. Fortunately for me, the majority of the action happened at my end (for the second time that weekend) as Arsenal came from a goal down to score a late equaliser and earn themselves a point…