Media assistant and Sheffield Hallam University student Bron Jenkinson gives his thoughts ahead of our Emirates FA Cup tie at Stamford Bridge…
Well, Chesterfield Football Club are about to take on the European champions, yes that’s right, I’ll say it again… THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS!!!
It still doesn’t feel real, I’m not sure it ever will. When I started volunteering at the club back in 2020, let’s not beat around the bush, the club I have loved since a young teenager was in a very, very bad way. I was excited and nervous to get my hands stuck into some real-world media work, it being the club I support made it that bit more special. It’s hard really, my peers will be in West London, early doors on Saturday, packed into that away end with nearly 6,000 Spireites, and what a day it will be for every single one of them, regardless of the result.
Meanwhile, I’ll be in the press box for what’s set to be the biggest day of my media journey to date. Yes, I’d probably give a left arm to experience this day as a supporter as well as in the press box, but unfortunately, I can only do one. The press box is sure to be an incredible experience though and I am absolutely buzzing. What a day it’s set to be for me personally and the club itself.
When the draw was made, I was actually at work at my day job, I was supposed to finish in time to watch the draw, but I was running a little late, so when I finished my shift, the draw had already been made. Most of my colleagues know that I’m a massive Spireite and they knew the draw was taking place, I finished my shift and walked to collect my bag, when someone ran up to me and shouted, “HAVE YOU SEEN WHO CHESTERFIELD HAVE GOT IN THE FA CUP?!”, at this moment, I knew it had to be someone special! I replied, “Who?”and when they told me it was Chelsea away at Stamford Bridge it’s fair to say I lost it, I ran around screaming for at least two minutes and I’m not afraid to admit it, it really made me emotional.
I then opened my phone and as you can imagine Twitter was going crazy. It was a special moment for me, it really made me realise that I’ve played a (albeit extremely small) part of this crazy journey that the club has been on recently, and it really took me back to my first day as a media volunteer…
My first game with the media was at the start of the 2020/21 season, when we travelled to Wealdstone on the opening day, only to have the game called off when we were halfway down the M1. The following weeks were tough; the team was struggling, and the club wasn’t exactly thriving.
I remember travelling to Wealdstone again in the rearranged game a few weeks later, when we lost 3-2 and the Spireites sat near the foot of the National League table. My heart was hurting, and I questioned whether this was for me. It was tough, reporting on the club I love while we were in such a poor position on the field… well, fast forward 18 months and look at us now!
On Saturday, I’ll be travelling to Stamford Bridge, one of the greatest stadiums in world football, to watch and report on the mighty Spireites taking on the European champions in the FA Cup. It will be a surreal experience to report on a Premier League side for the first time that’s for sure.
If I’m honest, right now, all I can think about is the day and how excited I am to see little old Chesterfield take on one of the big boys, but I’m sure once the dust has settled, I’ll look back on my actual experience in the press box as one I’ll carry with me forever. Saturday is certainly one of the biggest days in the club’s history and I feel lucky enough that I will be able to report on the match that will bring memories to the people of Chesterfield that will last a lifetime. It’s not something I ever imagined I would be doing but I’m so proud that I am.
It’s hard to put into words what this fixture means, but really, it’s just everything. We currently sit top of the National League table and James Rowe is guiding the Blues to what could be our best league campaign in several years. However, on Saturday, that all goes out the window. For just one day we can all enjoy this one-off cup-tie and forget the stresses and emotion of the National League.
On Saturday, every Spireite across the country should feel proud, from the moment they wake up to the moment they go back to sleep in the evening. Saturday is about more than just a game of football, it’s a celebration of how far this club has come on and off the pitch. It’s a deserved reward for all the hard work that the manager, his staff, the players, the board, the volunteers, and the fans have put in. We have earned this.
The result and performance, for me, is irrelevant. Of course, we want to win and I’m sure James Rowe will be setting up his side to do exactly that, however, we as supporters will remember this day for the rest of our lives, win, lose or draw. This isn’t just a special day to be a Spireite, it’s a special day to be from Chesterfield!
This football team are heading to Stamford Bridge to represent our beautiful town on a national scale and whatever happens on the pitch, I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that we will all be unbelievably proud of those players come the final whistle.
I’m not sure we will see many of Chelsea’s big boys, but I’m sure we will almost certainly see a few. Regardless of who plays for the home side I’m sure it will feel surreal watching our club come out of the tunnel at Stamford Bridge. For every fan in that away end, watching on the TV or listening at home, I would just tell you to enjoy every single moment of that day as much as you possible can. It really is a once in a lifetime.
I’ll finish with this, We Are the Famous CFC, and something special is happening here.
Enjoy your day, Spireites… bring it on!