Sunday, February 13, 2011

Q&A with Jamie Sanderson of Young Guns Blog

If you do not who Jamie Sanderson is, you might not be a true Gooner. Jamie Sanderson is the one man tour de force behind Young Guns Blog. What makes Arsenal FC special in the EPL is the club's unwavering focus on youth development and acquisition. Every youth player in Arsenal knows they have a real opportunity to play on the Senior team sooner rather than later. Arsenal has no qualms in blooding their youth on the biggest stage. Young Guns Blog is the definitive place for news about Arsenal youth players. The Dallas Cup is honored to host the first ever visit in the United States a team from the famed club, Arsenal FC from Engalnd. Jamie has graciously agreed to an Dallas Cup interview and if you are a fan of the Dallas Cup or Arsenal, follow @younggunsblog on twitter and Young Guns Blog .

Dallas Cup: Jamie from website's Bio, you just pass the 3rd anniversary of young guns blog. What did you do before the blog and is the progress of the website what you envisioned 3 years ago?

Jamie: "I started Young Guns when I was 16, so I was just at school when I began writing. I had a similar version of the website before but I had to close it due to legal issues with Arsenal. But in terms of writing about Arsenal, I've done that since I was 13-14, but only about the Reserves and Youths since I was 15." "The progress has been exceptional. I started the website as a diary of the what the youngsters at Arsenal were doing, but the thirst for knowledge Arsenal fans have, has seen it develop significantly and far and beyond any expectations or targets I had. It really has been amazing."

Dallas Cup: What kind of feedback do you receive from Arsenal? Do they, for a lack of a better term, appreciate your work?

Jamie: "Arsenal are a very private and secret club. They invited some of the Arsenal bloggers to the Emirates in the summer for the Emirates Cup, where we got to enjoy a private box to watch the second day, where Lyon played AC Milan and Arsenal played Celtic and won the trophy. It was great that they bridged the gap between keen fans and the club." "I did an interview with Arsenal TV Online, the clubs paid subscription channel, and the producers told me they knew of my work and found it an excellent resource, because Arsenal's website budget for covering youngsters is very small, so its not very in depth. The producer told me he loved Young Guns and that almost everybody at the training ground reads it."

Dallas Cup: Can you share some tidbits of what your daily site visits are and what parts of the world besides England has the highest site visits?

Jamie: "I don't have any set hit numbers, but the development has been excellent. I started out with 100 unique hits a day and now I'm getting around 20,000 to 30,000 a day. Obviously less when I don't write a new article, but its always around that figure. The comments numbers are great too, always well into double figures, which is very important, as people getting involved and sharing their opinion is one of the key parts of writing." "The majority of my hits are from England, as expected, but in a very close second place is America. We recently launched an iPhone and iPod application and up until very recently, Americans were the number one down-loaders of it, with almost 1000 of the 3000 downloads we had in the first week. Africa and Asia are also very big markets."

Dallas Cup: We know here in Dallas Cup what a special event it is to have the 1st ever visit by Arsenal across the pond. What do you think has changed in Arsenal's philosophy about more distant international friendlies and why they were against it compared to the other European clubs?

Jamie: "The most significant change in recent years has been the new Chief Executive, Ivan Gazidis, who used to work for the MLS. Arsenal's top men used to be quite old fashioned in their approach, which is why Arsene Wenger got a lot of control of the club, because he knew about things others didn't. Gazidis has modernised a lot of the things Arsenal do, and firmly recognises America is a key market for the future." "I was surprised they accepted the tour, because while the Dallas Cup is a prestigious competition in youth football, Arsenal are a very private club, and don't like opening up the youngsters to the wider media and fans. We're also a club that like to do things we want to do, not hand over control and go to a tournament somewhere. Its a big change to what we're used to but its very positive and a great chance to show how good we are compared to other teams."

Dallas Cup: Arsenal has a reputation of building the club through youth which is why your blog is the quintessential tool for any Arsenal fan. What do you see in the future for young guns blog?

Jamie: "I didn't begin writing with any set goals, or an end game. I've never been somebody who wanted to write or be a journalist, but it has worked out well. Not having a target can often be a bad thing, but for me, it means that anything that happens in a bonus. I just want to keep helping fans learn more about the club and that's the main thing for me."
"The future is exciting for Young Guns, I'm working on new ways to bring the information to people, via applications and email feeds, but I don't think I'll be writing the website forever, I'm always open to a new project or idea."

Dallas Cup: You've recently published a list of top 10 Arsenal prospect to date. Do you have some sleepers that just missed the top 10 list?

Jamie: "The top 10 article was a feature on the most interesting prospects, those with great stories who you'll be hearing lots about. The only problem with a top 10 is that you can't include everybody you want to, and I had lots of emails from people complaining I missed this and that player out. Arsenal have lots of top talents who didn't make the cut, but those 10 are the ones I believe we will be hearing lots more about in 2011."


Jamie Sanderson | Editor
Young Guns - Arsenal Youth Development News & Views

Skype: JSanderson10
Twitter: @YoungGunsBlog
Facebook: YoungGunsBlog


Tore A G said...

Young Guns Blog and site is a fantastic place to get information about the younger players. I also keep an eye on the Twitter updates for commentary on Games being played and news coming out.

Great Work Jamie...

Alex said...

The Austin Gooners are bringing a strong contingent of supporters to DFW to cheer on our future stars.

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