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Andrew reports back on the start of an exciting career 

Andrew McDonnell

Andrew McDonnell

When student Andrew McDonnell decided to tackle a career in Sports Journalism, he turned to the Futures Fund for support and found himself writing for the UK’s biggest cricket and American football magazines in Surrey.  

“The offices for the two publications faced onto the cricket pitch at The Oval, which you couldn’t get tired of seeing,” the 22 year-old said. “My first day involved a meeting with the team and getting acquainted with the Co-editor and Editor to see what my placement had in store for me.”  

The Futures Fund Opportunity Scholarship allowed Andrew to carry out a two-week placement for the editorial team of All Out Cricket and Gridiron, which produces both magazines.  

Andrew, from Bedlington in Northumberland, had been working with the Sunderland Echo, covering Durham County Cricket Club for two seasons and his contacts in the North East came in handy when they tasked him to write a piece about Durham County Cricket Club and Ashington Cricket Club.  

He said: “Durham CCC were sanctioned by the England and Wales Cricket Board and I was observing this and wrote a story on how that would affect Ashington CC, a team from South Northumberland, who have regularly produced cricketers for Durham CCC over the years.  

“The piece ended up being over 1,000 words and was published in the February edition of the magazine. It was pleasing to see so many people not only buying the issue, but reading my double-page spread article and giving me feedback on it.”  

Andrew was also asked to produce a book review of Cricket on the Continent and got involved in their ‘Best Young Cricketers’ feature.  

During his second week, the journalism student wrote about American football for Gridiron magazine.  

He concluded: “This placement allowed me to get my name recognised among some of the world’s leading sports writers and publications.  

“I now have my first full-time job working for a football club. I am the Media and Promotions Manager at Blyth AFC. I was approached about the position, I didn't apply for the job, because of the work I had done for clubs during my three years at university.  

“I would like to thank the Futures Fund for fulfilling one of my life’s ambitions of working for a big magazine company.”

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