Matt Bloomfield column: Handling the nerves for radio debut

Matt Bloomfield with Brenner Woolley
Matt Bloomfield joined BBC Radio Suffolk's Brenner Woolley for commentary

This week I was extremely fortunate to get the opportunity to be a radio summariser for the first time.

As part of the planning for my future after football, I joined BBC Radio Suffolk for commentary on Ipswich Town's FA Cup third-round draw at Southampton on Sunday.

I have done bits and pieces of radio work since graduating with a sports journalism degree, but I was still feeling a bit nervous when I was driving down to St Mary's.

It was an exciting opportunity and I was planning on taking it with both hands, but I was slightly apprehensive.

Usually when I'm travelling to an away ground, I'm told where the bus will be and at what time. I'm told what to wear and I'm told where to go to find the away changing room.

This time things were very different.

Danny Murphy
Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has taken up a career in punditry with the BBC

I have no real experience of being in a press room at a stadium so I wasn't sure what to wear, I wasn't sure where to pick up my press pass, and I wasn't sure what the protocol was once I was there. I was out of my comfort zone.

After texting my co-commentator Brenner Woolley, I went with a pair of jeans and some smart shoes - I was probably a bit more interested in making sure that I was going to be warm.

It was pointed out to me that the usual pundits on BBC Radio Suffolk are Ipswich legends Mick Mills, Kevin Beattie and Alex Mathie.

I made one appearance for Ipswich - and that was over 11 years ago, so the majority of the listeners wouldn't have a clue who I was.

It was imperative that my summarising was good, but I was very lucky to be working with Brenner, who is a fantastic bloke and a total professional.

It was also great to catch up before the game with my good friend Darren Ambrose, who was making his first start for Ipswich since returning to the club in September.

It was slightly strange to be at the game working for radio, but as soon as the match started I loved watching and offering my opinions on what I was seeing without really thinking what the listeners might think of me or what I said and I got a real buzz from it.

I was eager to make the right impression, of course I was, but I hadn't thought too much about the game at all until I was driving down there.

Darren Ambrose
Matt Bloomfield started his career at Ipswich Town alongside Sunday's goal scorer Darren Ambrose

After all, I had been pretty busy with a packed festive fixture list of my own at Wycombe, but I received some lovely feedback which I really appreciated.

Danny Murphy is the pundit that I particularly look up to and enjoy listening to. I find him interesting and insightful and he always seems to talk sense, while being engaging at the same time.

There are a lot of bigger names and personalities than me out there that are either already in the media side of the game or entering it after a playing career.

Having played mainly in League Two, I will need to be better than a lot of other candidates if I want media work later in my career.

The only way to get better and improve is by practice, which is what I'm trying to do whilst still playing.

There's plenty of football left in my legs yet. I'm feeling as fit and strong as I ever have, but it's never too early to plan ahead.

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