Samuel Ogunleye

 

Lifelong football fan Samuel became one of the first ever students to be selected by the FA to draw teams for the third round qualifying draw of the 2018 Emirates FA Cup.

“It was unbelievable,” said Samuel. “I mean, who gets to say they took part in an FA Cup draw and had that power to determine which teams will play who in whatever part of the country? They explained to me that usually one person does the draw or they’ll have an ex-footballer come in, so for us to get this chance was unreal.”

Samuel and his fellow students are members of the FA Young Reporter Club and have reported on matches in the qualifying stages of this year’s FA Cup. As an added benefit of the scheme, Samuel was entered into an electronic draw to take part in the official FA Cup draw and won.

He added: “It was brilliant being able to be at a game and know that I’ll be writing for such a huge organisation. Just to see my name on the FA website made all my hard work worthwhile and has given me the confidence and experience I need for this industry.”

As Samuel explains, the opportunity to report on matches for the FA Cup qualifying rounds arose through his lecturer. He said: “The work experience came about through Marc Webber our lecturer, who introduced me and a few other students to a company called Seven League. They created a scheme to give young people opportunities to write match reports for The FA Cup, FA Youth Cup, Women’s FA Cup and Women’s Super League.

“My lecturers have really helped me in getting work outside of University as they always present opportunities to us, but it’s up to us to apply and take it to the next level. Marc especially has helped a lot and without his sharp eye looking out for opportunities, I wouldn't have done a lot of the work I’ve been involved in.”

Since the draw, Samuel's final year documentary, The Black Board, examining the lack of diversity in professional football club boardrooms, has been shortlisted for a prestigious Midlands Media Student Award

In the film, which you can watch below, Samuel interviews QPR director of football and former England international, Les Ferdinand, about the issues of diversity in the boardroom, while Premier League Leicester City star, Wes Morgan, reveals his ambitions to break into the boardroom after he’s hung up his boots.

Samuel also quizzes Burton Albion chief, Ben Robinson, who is one of just a handful of BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic) chairmen in the English Football League.


Samuel said: “While there are many BAME football players in the professional game and a handful of managers, there appears to be some sort of barrier to them progressing to roles in boardrooms. I wanted to find out what the barriers were, and whether people were just not bothering to apply for these roles because they thought it was a closed shop."

“I think the future could be bright if the professional game adopted the Rooney Role, whereby one-in-five people interviewed for a directorship needs to be from a BAME background. The Football Association has committed to do this when it interviews for future England managers and if clubs also adopted the policy, we might see a change in the status quo.”

For more information on Multimedia Journalism BA (Hons), visit the course page.