I had one of those Facebook memories pop up on my timeline this morning – it was a year ago today that I was named as a finalist in three categories at last year’s New Zealand Football Media Association awards. A bit has changed in the year that has passed since that fateful day!
Before yesterday I will admit to asking myself why I agreed to do it as deadlines loomed, but then I got to announce the finalists on Twitter and that made it all well worth the stress!
Because I got to see how happy it made those who had been named, which in turn brought back warm memories of how I felt this time last year. It’s not the Pulitzers – let’s face it – but it still means a lot to those who put themselves forward for recognition.
And it was great to see that recognition for our football media get amplified as my tweet was retweeted to an audience of well over 50,000 people via various high profile accounts.
It was also wonderful to take a little bit of personal satisfaction for how well ITBOTN has done yet again! As well as having three writing finalists, regular photography contributors to this site Michael Welsh and Cam McIntosh are also up for gongs.
This year has seen new media take over a bit from newspapers in the writing categories which makes me both proud and little bit sad to be honest. It perhaps reflects that fewer and fewer newspapers are investing in football writers – and I take no pleasure from that.
Finally, a huge thanks must go to the awards sponsors – Connect NZ in association with Zoom. I am pleased to announce that part of their support will be a live streaming of the awards ceremony – taking place at Westpac Stadium the night before the All Whites’ Intercontinental Playoff and immediately prior to New Zealand Football’s charity dinner. I will publicise links to this when they become available.
And in case you missed it – here are the finalists:
Programme of the Year
Auckland City, edited by Gordon Watson
Papatoetoe AFC Ladies, edited by Andrew Kirk
Waitemata, edited by Mark Reid
Publication of the Year
Fully Committed: The Ben Sigmund Story, by Ben Sigmund and Jason Pine
The ‘History of Eastern Suburbs AFC: 1934 – 2015, by Sam Jeffery and Ernest Wong
Writer of the Year
Michael Burgess (NZ Herald, Herald on Sunday)
John Palethorpe (in the back of the net)
Dave Webster (The JourneyFan)
Community-Internet Writer of the Year
Tracey Hodge (in the back of the net)
Bruce Holloway (in the back of the net)
Phillip Rollo (Nelson Mail))
Photographer of the Year
Andrew Cornaga (Photosport)
Cameron McIntosh (Photomac)
Michael Welsh (Dr Yomcat Shoots)
Shane Wenzlick (Phototek)
Audio Broadcaster of the Year
Riccardo Ball (TAB Trackside)
Jason Pine (NZME)
Yellow Fever – Phoenix City (Patrick Barnes, Cameron McIntosh, Andrew French and Dave Richardson)
Television Broadcaster of the Year
Jason Pine (Sky TV)
Narelle Sindos (Sky TV)
Gordon Watson (OFC TV)
Congratulations to all!
A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: https://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/