After just over three years, the Teesside Football Blog is coming to an end.
Starting with an Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup match between Norton & Stockton Ancients and Whickham back in 2014 and ending with the FA Vase Final between Stockton Town and Thatcham Town. It has been some journey for the blog I started as a University student looking to produce more of my own content.
The reason for ending is the blog is I can announce that I will be joining the Stockton Town media team. The plan is start to a YouTube channel for the club and hone my skills within one club. As someone who’s ultimate goal is to work within the football media, I feel Stockton are a club going places and somewhere I can grow alongside the club.
I also feel I am unable to do justice in terms of trying to cover every club the Teesside region has to offer. Although I may still record the odd match highlights if I have the time to.
I have certainly enjoyed my time covering Teesside football. It has opened my eyes to the rich football scene we have in this area. Beyond the obvious Middlesbrough, there are some great stories. Marske United in particular stand out, twice they have won the league title in my time producing this blog and next season they start a new adventure in the Evo-Stik League.
The first title in 2015 will live long in my footballing memory, with the Easter Weekend of that year with the epic 4-2 win over West Auckland and 2-1 win at local rivals Guisborough Town the main highlights. Especially the latter given both sides were in with a shout of the title at the time.
Of course, Stockton Town’s rise from a Wearside League club to a Northern League club that has recently played at Wembley has been much documented.
Billingham Synthonia haven’t been short of excitement during the three years. In the first year they were relegated for the first time since the 1980s. In the second they just missed out on an instant return and in the third they were promoted back to Division One. Sadly a move away from Central Avenue and relocation to Norton resulted in an instant relegation back to Division Two. Thankfully though the club has a new chairman in Jamie Pollock and things are potentially looking up again.
There is not much I’d like to see more in Teesside football than the return of Billingham Town to Division One. Town has always been a club where community has been at the heart and it’s place that deserves success. Over the last few years it has been frustrating to see them struggling to get out of Division Two. Again, like Synthonia with a new chairman in Paul Beddow at the helm hopefully they can finally get that promotion.
Moving to Stockton on full-time basis means I have also given up my Middlesbrough season ticket, something I have held for over ten years. It has been enjoyable watching the team I support on a regular basis . There has been some great days such as the playoff victory over Brentford and the promotion in 2016 following the 1-1 draw with Brighton.
Admittedly there was also many dark days with the Gordon Strachan era standing out and of course two relegations from the Premier League. It hasn’t been the rosiest era for Middlesbrough, from an established Premier League to now a Championship regular, it’s fair to say the club’s stock has fallen. Hopefully with myself gone, their fortunes will upturn.
I’d like to end by extending my thanks to everyone who has ever supported the blog by visiting, liking and engaging with my content. I hope I improved the coverage of Teesside Football, if only marginally.