Marc Sibbons, 22, from Bishop's Stortford, was the winner of the recent Thomas Cook Sport Supporter Reporter competition. His prize was a full page in the programme, so check out what Marc had to do as the Spurs Supporter Reporter.
The Thomas Cook Sport Match Break
I remember the pure excitement and adrenaline I felt the moment I was told the full details of my prize by Thomas Cook Sport - it’s safe to say it made my week! I was to become a Spurs Supporter Reporter, which included interviewing Brad Friedel and to experience first-hand exactly what a Match Break is, as quite frankly, I had no idea!
For my interview with Brad, a friend and I were invited to Spurs Lodge, where we arrived to a queue of cars, behind Emmanuel Adeboyor, to get into the car park.
We managed to meet all the players and grab autographs and photos, however, as a student of journalism, I was desperate to meet Brad and start my interview. He was a top guy and it was a very beneficial experience for me as I was able to show off my skills in front of a Spurs player – a dream come true!
The second part of my prize was to enjoy a full Match Break for the game vs. QPR. For those who don’t know what this is, it includes a guaranteed match ticket to White Hart Lane and hotel accommodation to a level of your choice.
We made our way to Kings Cross on Saturday evening and checked-in at our hotel. The game the following day was as equally impressive as our beer intake the night before! My guest and I, as massive Spurs fans, were confident we would finish the game with three points, and the mighty Spurs didn’t disappoint. Tickets were in a great spot and the atmosphere at the Lane never disappoints.
Although you don’t get to meet the players if you book with Thomas Cook Sport, I have to say a Match Break is an ideal opportunity for fans that need to travel to WHL for a game or want to experience a mini-football break in the capital.
Overall, a very, very lucky experience. Bring on my next job as Spurs Supporter Reporter!
Marc meets Brad Friedel...
Are you looking forward to playing against your old teammates today?
Yes, I look forward to every football match. I’ve done it a few times now when I’ve changed clubs and played against my old teammates.
How does it feel to play against a former club?
When you are playing away from home, like I did recently against Blackburn, and you get a good reception it’s a really nice feeling, but once the whistle blows, you forget you are playing against an old team. I try not to go overboard when my current team scores to keep it respectful, but other than that you do forget because you are employed by somebody else and you have to try to win the points for them.
Who are the danger men at Villa we have to look out for today?
Well, Gabby Agbonlahor has started the season off very well. He’s got exceptional pace. Emile Heskey in the box is always a handful. Stiliyan Petrov, also. If we give him too much time, he is a very good passer of the ball and on set pieces, we’ve got to keep an eye on the two big men coming up from the back, James Collins and Richard Dunne.
In terms of ability, who is the best player you have played with during you career?
Tugay. In terms of skill, it has to be him. He was technically brilliant.
When starting out your career at youth level, who was your biggest inspiration?
There were two players but bizarrely, two different styles of goalkeeper to myself. When I was growing up, we didn’t get much football played on TV in America. The team I supported as a boy was Liverpool, so you always had Ray Clemence and Bruce Grobbelaar playing in goal at the time. The other team that was always shown on TV was Bayern Munich. They had a goalkeeper called Jean-Marie Pfaff who I admired, even though he was as eccentric as the day is long!
Do you miss playing for the national team having retired in 2005?
No. I played over 80 times for my country, including two Olympics and three World Cups. I was getting to an age when the flight’s back and forth were taking their toll a bit, and I wanted to prolong my club career. Some of my best time in football was playing for my country, but in the end, I made a decision for my family and my club career.
Could you see yourself as a manager once your playing days are over?
Possibly. However, when you’ve got your playing head on it’s difficult to focus on anything else, but as each day creeps nearer, I start to think about it. But, at the moment, I’m concentrating on playing for Spurs.
Marc Sibbons won the competition via our official travel partner, Thomas Cook Sport. For more information on Spurs Match Breaks, please visit www.thomascooksport.com or call the sales team on 0844 800 9900.