Interviewing football legend, Matt le Tissier

12688111_10208535046795972_5932529789954733731_nI’m feeling like a very lucky girl at the moment. Third year at university and on course to get a very good honours degree in Sports Journalism, five different jobs, making a wealth of contacts and a family who couldn’t be prouder of me. But all of this was surpassed on Tuesday morning. I interviewed my childhood hero!

It seemed to be a stroke of luck more than anything else – working as a Press Officer for my local football club, AFC Totton, the interview just fell into my lap, and I somehow kept my cool… Until I got back in the car!

So here is the interview with Southampton legend, Matt le Tissier (all in one take, might I add!), talking about his academy’s new partnership with the football club. We’ve nearly reached 500 views in just 2 days, let’s keep it going!

 

 

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Local Athletics superstar adds gold to medal collection

Abigail Davies, studying at Southampton Solent University, has overcome a long battle with injury to become 60m South West champion for the first time in her career.

“I couldn’t walk at one point last year.” – Abi Davies

Abi Davies' gold medalThe victory on Sunday moves her up the rankings to 12th fastest in the UK in the under 23s category and just outside the top 100 in all age groups.

The 20-year-old, who was competing for Southampton Athletics Club, breezed through her semi-final in the Grand Prix Series in Cardiff. She left the rest of her heat trailing in her wake with a time of 7.94 seconds, beating her closest opponent by nearly half a second, to set up a hotly-contested battle with other semi-final winner, Yvette Westwood.

The final itself was a very strong line up, but Davies went into the race as narrow favourite over Yate and District’s Westwood for the title, despite fracturing one ankle and spraining the other just 12 months earlier.

Davies, originally from Bath, came through with flying colours, matching her time from the previous round, and pipping fierce rival, Westwood, to the line by just 0.02 of a second.

Abi Davies HPAThe third year Sports Journalism student admits that the recovery has been tough in the last year but being a part of the High Performance Academy at Solent has encouraged her to come back stronger: “The rehab process took a year because I heavily damaged my ankle, so much so that I couldn’t walk at one point.

“But HPA and Solent have been amazing, helping me every step of the way to get back to doing what I love best and winning medals.”

This title joins her other sporting accolades, such as Midland Champion and Welsh Champion at 60m, as well as Captain of the Solent Athletics Team.

The multi-talented athlete also competes in Bobsleigh, and her overwhelming speed on the track has catapulted her into the Team GB squad hoping to make it to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

Snipers Cheerleading Academy smash their first ever competition

Snipers full comp squad

The Senior Cheer team before going on stage

DESPITE being formed just seven months ago, Snipers Cheerleading Academy placed all seven of their routines in the top three at the Autumn Allstar competition in Eastbourne last weekend.

The squad, based in Hounsdown, topped the standings in four different categories, coming first in all three pairs dance routines, as well as in the highest level senior stunt team in the entire competition.

In addition to the first placed trophies, Snipers also came home with a 2nd and 3rd in the open and junior level 2 stunt teams respectively, but it was the Senior Cheer routine that was the most pleasing result of the weekend for the club.

This was the first and only chance for the full squad to show their potential before Nationals in March. With only one fall in the two and a half minute routine, the 18-man squad produced a stunning performance, taking 2nd out of eight teams, and just 0.75 away from category favourites, Vista Twisters in first.

Sam Youren - Head Coach

Sam works alongside a committee to run the club

Snipers Head Coach, Sam Youren, believes her squad have achieved everything and more from their goals they set for their first competition, but wants to push the team further for Nationals. “I am completely overwhelmed by the results this weekend.

“For a brand new squad, we have exceeded every other teams’ expectations of us, and even though we had brilliant results, there are still a lot of things we need to work on for March. Nationals will be a bigger competition and we can’t become complacent, just because of what we have already achieved.”

Dance Captain Eva Newton + pair routines winners

Dance Coach Eva Newton with Junior Pair winners, Amy and Chloe

It is not just the Head Coach who is looking to improve the squad. Dance Coach, Eva Newton, who choreographed the senior cheer routine, as well as the three winning pair routines, says: “There were some mistakes and need to work on tighter arm lines throughout the dance sections, but all the hard work paid off.

“Now we have competed for the first time, we now understand what the judges like and don’t like so I know what to work on for the next event, but our team is a family. I am so proud of them.”

And this is not the first time the club has been noticed in the local community. In September, Snipers Cheerleading were recognised in a national competition run by Miller Homes, and won a £500 grant to put towards new training facilities.

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Miller Homes came down to Hounsdown and got involved with the stunting!

They have all ages and abilities within the squad, as well as boys and girls, and welcome beginners and ex cheerleaders/gymnasts for training sessions. For more information about training times or queries on starting with the club, contact Sam on samyouren@yahoo.co.uk

Welcome to the life of a 3rd year University student…

I am happy to admit that being a third year sports journalism student is chaotic, frustrating, time-consuming and draining. But it is possibly the most rewarding thing I will ever do in my career. It will be setting me up for life!

So I thought it would be a good time to show you exactly what our university students do when they aren’t drinking to drown their sorrows! Here is only our 2nd ever fully live broadcast that went on air from Solent University.

Me and my team of five created the last package on celebrating 130 years of AFC Totton, a local football club who have had more then their share of ups and downs. Watch the video, feel free to share as much as you like and comment away!!

Stags bounce back in the New Forest derby

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AFC Totton started with the same line up as the defeat to Cinderford Town last Saturday.

AFC Totton’s comprehensive 4-0 win over local rivals, Bashley Town, have ensured the Stags’ rise up the table after three wins in the last four games despite an uncharacteristically slow performance.

It was a largely uneventful first half, with Totton having most of the possession but nothing to show for their efforts. However, Nathaniel Sherborne was to be a threat from the outset after the goalkeeper had to produce a one-handed save in just the second minute.

Sherborne’s determination paid off on 24 minutes, after his solo run from the half way line brought him to the penalty box and he effortlessly dispatched the ball past Bashley goalkeeper, Rob Gillett to give the stags the lead.

Both teams appeared lacklustre and low in confidence after defeats in their last matches, and it took 36 minutes for Bashley to trouble Totton’s resident goalkeeper, Steve Mowthorpe, who made a routine catch to maintain his clean sheet.

Chances were few and far between after half time until a lay off from Sherborne found Craig Feeney on the penalty spot, and he wpid-img_20150929_235742.jpg the ball into the bottom right corner to double their lead.

It was definitely not Totton’s best performance of the season, but were still managing to create goal-scoring opportunities, and on 71 minutes, Sherborne blasted the ball home from close range, leaving Gillett with no chance to prevent his second of the game.

Misplaced passes from both teams left the game feeling a little disjointed, especially in the second half, but substitutes Jake Rawkins, James Roden and Matthew Brewer, breathed new air into the Totton side.

Brewer, who made his debut on Saturday in the 3-0 defeat to Cinderford, nearly made it four goals to the home side, but for a sliding tackle.

But with five minutes remaining, Rawkins’ curling cross into the box found Mike Gosney who headed the ball into the top right corner and just out of reach of Gillett once more.

Totton will be grateful to leave the Testwood Stadium with the three points in the bag after a good result but an unconvincing performance. The win lifts them one place in the table to 17th, and Bashley rock bottom and in serious trouble already.

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Mike Gosney re-signed for Totton at the start of this season. Pictured with manager, Steve Hillock.

The Stags play Tiverton Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday, but Gosney believes that the squad will have to revise their strategy for the weekend: “We were okay in patches today but will have to improve a lot against Tiverton.

“Tiverton will be a big test for us, and we will have to up the tempo a lot more, but it would be great if we could get a result and go on a cup run.”

AFC Totton team: Mowthorpe, Hibberd, Diaper, Williams, Dempsey**, Simpson, Burgess*, Allen, Feeney***, Sherborne, Gosney.

Subs: Rawkins*, Roden**, Brewer***

Five goal thrashing from AFC Totton moves them out of relegation danger

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The Stags applauding the travelling away fans after the match

AFC Totton scored five goals on Saturday against a struggling Bridgwater side to win their first away game of the season, and take their first step away from relegation.

The Stags have conceded in the first 20 minutes in each of their last five games, but they had a dream start, when injury-free Mike Gosney was brought down in the box with just 13 seconds on the clock. Gosney got up to dispatch the penalty comfortably to give Totton an early lead.

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Gosney winning one of Totton’s countless corners against Bridgwater

The away side came close to doubling their lead in the first ten minutes, with Gosney’s strike hitting the woodwork and the rebound was headed just wide by Nathaniel Sherborne. But it wasn’t until the 23rd minute that Totton found the back of the net again.

A Bridgwater corner was clearly efficiently by the Stags’ defenders and created a strong counter-attack to find Craig Feeney running down the left wing. His solo effort flew straight past the Bridgwater goalkeeper and into the top right hand corner to boost the team’s confidence further.

The Hampshire side dominated the first 45 minutes, but the scoring wasn’t quite finished before the half time whistle was blown. Feeney showed his strength on the corner of the penalty box to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper again slid it past for a three goal advantage.

Totton goalkeeper, Steve Mowthorpe, didn’t have too much to do in the first half, but produced a brilliant one-handed save in the second half to keep a clean sheet for the first time this season.

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One of Totton’s headed chances going just wide.

Totton’s confidence was growing at the thought of winning back-to-back games in the league. After a string of corners, Jake Burgess found Jack Simpson’s head to guide the ball across the line, giving Simpson two goals in two games.

Bridgwater did have their opportunities despite being four goals down, especially when Mowthorpe brought down Bridgwater’s number 9 in the box, but Josh Wadham couldn’t convert, curling the shot round the post, adding to their dismal day.

Another corner resulted in the Stags’ final goal of the game. This time, Sherborne took the plaudits, heading the ball past the inconsolable goalkeeper and giving Totton their biggest away win since February 2011; once again, Sherborne scored in that game as well.

Steve-Hollick

Manager Steve Hollick believes his team had a slow start to the season but are now proving their worth

Totton manager, Steve Hollick, was overly pleased with the result, but is staying grounded: “It takes the pressure off a bit, but it could have been double figures. We missed some good chances on top of those we scored.

“We’re not getting carried away, but it was a good performance from us and there’s still plenty more to come from the boys.”

Cinderford Town are Totton’s next league opponents, and will provide a sterner test away from home once more, but the signs are showing that the Stags are on the rise, climbing to 17th in the table.

GB’s Max Cater just misses out on top spot in Poland

Max Cater - Polish Open

Cater with GB Performance Coach Harry No.

GREAT Britain Tae Kwon Do star, Max Cater, has added to his impressive medal tally in the men’s under 54kg category, taking a silver from the Polish Open over the bank holiday weekend.

The 17-year-old, who lived in Holbury before moving to the country’s Tae Kwon Do base in Manchester, was seeded 2nd in the event, but lost in the final to pre-tournament favourite, Jesus Tortosa Cabrera from Spain.

It was a fairly straightforward bout in Cater’s opening match against the Dutch athlete, Vincent Godel, and won the match 17-5 to swiftly progress into the semi-finals.

The 2014 men’s Commonwealth champion then faced Belarus’ Illia Kukshyntsau for a place in the final. It was to be a tougher match, but Max won in style, comfortably beating him 21-8 to set up a mouth-watering dual between the top two seeds.

The Spaniard was going into the final as favourite and was a very close encounter which was to be expected, but pipped Max to win the title 20-14.

This silver caps off an outstanding year for Max, after tournament wins in Bosnia and Switzerland earlier this year as well as podium finishes in Australia and Turkey.