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The Corporation

Posted: 09/02/18

Media spotlight on football fan Declan

A football-mad media production student at West Nottinghamshire College enjoyed his very own taste of the industry, after starring in a BBC video charting his team’s FA Cup run.

Magpies fan Declan (right) pictured with Football Focus presenter Dan Walker in the Broken Wheelbarrow ahead of the match.

Notts County supporter Declan Weliczko was hand-picked by producers of the BBC Sport website’s ‘FA Cup Stories’ series to be filmed on the day of the Magpies’ fourth-round tie against Swansea City at Meadow Lane.

It came after they spotted the 18-year-old’s self-filmed match-day vlogs on his own YouTube Channel, ARLukomski, where he muses all things Notts and captures fan footage from the terraces.

Declan, from Mansfield Woodhouse, was recorded going about his regular match-day routine for the piece – called ‘Notts County’s New Era’ – including his customary walk to the stadium from Nottingham train station while simultaneously talking about his hopes for the game, along with the club’s turbulent recent history and his optimism for the future under its current regime.

He even grabbed an opportunity to have his photograph taken with Football Focus presenter Dan Walker after that week’s edition of the long-running programme was broadcast live from The Broken Wheelbarrow pub, a favourite haunt for Notts fans.

Declan’s passionate support for the Magpies was captured from the stands as the game unfolded – ranging from the despair of conceding a goal just before half-time to the ecstasy of salvaging an equaliser after the hour mark – which saw the high-flying League Two outfit finish the game 1-1 to earn a reply against their Premier League opposition, leaving Declan purring at a “fantastic performance full of guts and determination.”

Declan said: “Throughout the day I was accompanied by a video journalist called Jagroop, who filmed me pulling-on my Notts shirt at home and taking the train to Nottingham before recording some bits around the stadium – all while talking about Notts’ past, present and future. Then we headed inside for the match, where he videoed me and lots of other supporters as things got under way, including my reaction to the goals.

“It was a bit surreal because I hadn’t experienced anything like that before, being filmed by the media, but I really enjoyed it. I’ve received lots of congratulations and positive comments from friends and family, which is quite cool.”

Although Declan’s beloved Magpies went on to crash-out of the competition – after being thrashed 8-1 in the return fixture at the Swan’s Liberty Stadium, in South Wales – he insists he had an “amazing experience” overall, with his 2-minute 40-second film subsequently featured on the BBC Sport website, YouTube Channel and Facebook page.

And the teenager – who hopes to pursue a career as a journalist or full-time vlogger – says it has further whetted his appetite for the industry.

Declan, who studies the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Media Production (Film and TV), added: “This has opened my eyes to different aspects of the media; not just journalism and vlogging but other things too. I’ve already tried lots of roles that were new to me, such as camera and sound operator, as part of my college course and this has introduced me to even more jobs in the media.

“While it’s disappointing to go out of the FA Cup, especially in the manner we did, it was an amazing experience to work with the BBC and produce a match-day blog that combined my passions for Notts County, film and TV.”

You can see Declan’s BBC vlog on the BBC Sport website and on his YouTube channel, ARLukomski.