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Club hands youngsters their 'Press Pass'

15 September 2015

Albion Foundation join forces with media team

TWO Albion fans swapped their classroom for the Hawthorns press box - as part of a new initiative between The Albion Foundation and the club's media team.

Bradley Hall and Chloe Macguire, both 14, and pupils at St Michael’s CE High School, were the first young reporters selected for ‘Press Pass’, a partnership providing a unique chance for young writers to report on each Albion home Premier League match alongside the professionals.

Bradley and Chloe offered their take on Saturday's 0-0 draw with Southampton.

Hearing the roar from the stadium as you walk towards it, a bag of fizzy cola bottles half hanging out your pocket, while you scoff a burger you’d just brought from one of the many vans around the ground. The excitement of all the other fans chanting ‘Come on you Baggies‘ gives you a warm sensation throughout your body.

As you’re approaching the stadium, you begin to realise that this isn’t your local park with some rusty old goals and ripped nets. The thrill of coming through the turnstiles, then being exposed to a whole new world, the sight of blue, white and red makes you ecstatic. It just makes you want to start cheering them from the moment you walk in.

Today’s match is different however. We’ve swapped our jeans, trainers and old home shirt for a school tie and our best shoes. The bag of fizzy cola bottles are replaced with a reporter’s note pad. Today we’re too nervous for a burger. Today we bypass the turnstiles for the Tommy Glidden Entrance. The one fans usually scuttle past as they are not welcome there. Today we collect our official ‘Media’ passes – allowing access to once forbidden places including the ‘Media Lounge’ and the ‘Press Balcony’. Today we are reporting on the match!

During the first half, the game lacked excitement, despite a couple of unsuccessful chances from both the home team and the visitors. The addition of two minutes extra time appeared not to be a useful contribution to the game as again, no goals were scored. During the 16th minute, it strongly appeared that a penalty should’ve been granted to Callum McManaman after he received a gruelling challenge from Matt Targett. Despite this, the referee decided not to grant Albion a penalty. A decision Tony Pulis later controversially agreed with during his brief post-match comments. The fans of the Baggie’s bombarded the referee with boos.

In the 42nd minute, Victor Wanyama barged into the back of Salomon Rondon, however a free-kick failed to be granted by the referee, Stuart Attwell. The clearest chance of a goal during this dull first half was the attempted header by Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez, which was assisted by a cross from Dusan Tadic. However, the cross was headed wide from a central position six yards out.

The second half had a significant difference to the first; it was way more lively with more chances being taken; the majority made by Albion. Rickie Lambert was replaced by Saido Berahino during the 50th minute. The fans gave him a rapturous, forgiving reception while the Saints fans chanted ‘There’s only one Rickie Lambert’…..

Salomon Rondon attempted a chance at the 54th minute, however he failed. Another sub was made in the 61st minute, as Callum McManaman was replaced by James McLean. Both teams continued to create chances throughout the match, however none of them were successful. In comparison to the first half, the second half was much more promising. However this still was not enough for either of the teams to win the game, as the match ended as a goalless draw.

During the post-match conference, Southampton FC manager Ronald Koeman stated: “if you can’t win, don’t lose”.

Albion’s Head Coach, Tony Pulis, said he was “delighted with the reception Saido received when he replaced Lambert and he expected nothing less from West Bromwich Albion’s fantastic fans.”

Our Albion Star Man – Jonny Evans: Led the defence well on his debut for West Bromwich Albion.

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