Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Mark Pitman: A Passionate and Successful Freelance Football Writer

Mark Pitman is a true testament to turning your passion into a thriving career. With no formal journalism qualifications, Mark has managed to establish himself as a respected football writer through his dedication and hard work. From starting as a volunteer at Port Talbot Town FC to working with prestigious organizations like the Football Association of Wales and UEFA, Mark has built an impressive portfolio. In this article, we’ll delve into Mark’s journey, his responsibilities as the Senior Reporter for the Football Association of Wales, and his experiences as a freelance Copywriter for Nordeus. We’ll also discuss the key skills needed to be a successful football writer and gain valuable insights from Mark’s interviews with high-profile footballers. So, if you’re aspiring to pursue a career in the football industry, keep reading!

How Did Mark Start Working in the Football Industry?

Mark’s love for football has been a lifelong passion. While it seemed unrealistic to pursue a career in the field, he decided to volunteer at his local club, Port Talbot Town FC, to immerse himself in the football community. From serving behind the bar to running the club shop, Mark took on various roles. It was in 2000 that he found his niche and created the media officer role at the club. Over the next decade, he built valuable contacts in the local and national press as well as within the Football Association of Wales (FAW). As Port Talbot Town qualified for the UEFA Europa League in 2010, Mark’s online profile caught the attention of popular football blogs, which led to exciting opportunities for him as a football writer.

Mark’s Role as the Senior Reporter for the Football Association of Wales

As the Senior Reporter for the Football Association of Wales (FAW), Mark works closely with the media department to produce engaging content for the FAW’s digital channels and publications. His responsibilities span a wide range of areas, including creating previews, interviews, match reports, historical features, and more. From covering the men’s, women’s, and intermediate teams to assisting the U21 and U19 teams, Mark provides unique insights into the world of Welsh football. He believes in conveying a positive message and aims to present the story from an inside perspective, offering a different viewpoint to the press and the public.

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Mark’s Copywriting Role: Adding Authenticity to Nordeus’ Football Manager Game

In 2018, Nordeus, a mobile game developer company, approached Mark to collaborate as a Copywriter for their football manager game, “Top Eleven.” They wanted Mark, a football writer, to contribute his expertise and suggestions to enhance the game’s content and make it more realistic and authentic. Recognizing that the players of the game are football fans, Mark’s role revolves around reviewing proposed content for new tournaments and updates. Although different from his journalism work, it is an interesting and enjoyable experience for Mark to use his skills to add a new level of authenticity to the gaming experience.

A Day in the Life of Mark Pitman

Mark’s daily routine is far from typical, especially considering the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic. With short and long-term projects always on the horizon, international breaks can be particularly busy and intense. The pandemic has also changed the demands of international windows, which now include three games instead of the usual one or two. As a UEFA Venue Data-Coordinator (VDC), Mark may be asked to travel at short notice to cover different games. However, staying well-organized is crucial for staying ahead in this dynamic industry.

Pursuing a Career as a Freelance Football Writer

Freelancing can be an excellent starting point for aspiring football writers. It allows you to build a network of industry contacts and diversify your income streams. However, freelancing also comes with its challenges, such as the lack of security associated with full-time employment. Therefore, it is essential to consider various factors and assess individual circumstances before pursuing this path. Times are uncertain for many industries, and while there is no right or wrong route to success, determination, adaptability, and a genuine passion for the sport will set you apart.

Mark’s Contributions as an Expert Columnist and Interviewer

Mark’s contributions extend beyond his work with the FAW and Nordeus. He is an Expert Columnist for Sportskeeda, a popular sports website in India. This opportunity allows Mark to explore topics other than Welsh football and offer his unique perspective on stories from across Europe and the world. Another noteworthy achievement was being asked to contribute to the official match program for the UEFA Champions League Final in 2017. Having his name and work featured in such a high-profile publication was a remarkable milestone in Mark’s career.

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Insights from Mark’s Interviews and Advice for Aspiring Football Writers

Throughout his career, Mark has had the privilege of interviewing high-profile footballers and gaining valuable insights into their lives. One of his favorite interviews was with Gareth Bale before the 2016 UEFA European Championship semi-final against Portugal. Mark’s ability to plan ahead and stay well-prepared has helped him maintain confidence during interviews with renowned figures. When it comes to being a successful football writer, Mark emphasizes subject knowledge, the ability to trust your own opinions, and the importance of providing a balanced argument backed up by facts. Rising above sensationalism in today’s football media landscape is crucial for long-term success.

The Enjoyable and Challenging Aspects of Mark’s Role

For Mark, the most enjoyable part of his role is the privilege of being involved with football on a professional level. From high-profile interviews to sharing his thoughts and opinions on the game, every experience is special and humbling. Even simply being at a game when few others have the opportunity is a tremendous privilege, especially given the current climate. The most challenging aspect for Mark is adapting to constant changes, such as sudden travel requirements and evolving work demands. Flexibility is key to navigating these challenges successfully.

Advice for Pursuing a Career in the Football Industry

Mark’s advice to those looking to pursue a career in the football industry is to remain open to diverse opportunities and build a strong online presence to showcase their work and versatility across different platforms. Networking is crucial, as making the right connections can make a significant difference in such a competitive industry. Believing in one’s abilities while being open to constructive criticism is essential for growth and improvement. Being well-prepared and simplifying complex issues are additional skills that can contribute to success. Ultimately, a genuine passion for the game will shine through in the content produced.

Looking Ahead

Given the ever-changing nature of the industry, Mark’s future in football is difficult to predict. Adapting to emerging trends and staying ahead of the game in terms of content consumption is vital. Mark encourages individuals to embrace change and seize any opportunities that arise. By continually making the most of these opportunities, aspiring football writers can build a fruitful career in this exciting field.

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To explore more of Mark’s work, visit his website www.markpitman1.com or connect with him on Twitter.


What qualifications does Mark Pitman have in journalism?

Mark Pitman is a self-taught journalist and football writer. He does not hold any formal journalism qualifications. Despite this, he has managed to establish himself as a successful football writer through his dedication, passion, and hands-on experience in the football industry.

What are Mark Pitman’s responsibilities as the Senior Reporter for the Football Association of Wales?

As the Senior Reporter for the Football Association of Wales (FAW), Mark Pitman works closely with the media department to produce compelling content for the FAW’s digital channels and printed publications. His responsibilities include creating previews, interviews, match reports, historical features, and more. Mark covers various teams, including the men’s, women’s, and intermediate teams, and works collaboratively with team managers and players to provide an inside perspective on Welsh football.

What role does Mark Pitman have as a Copywriter for Nordeus?

Mark Pitman freelances as a Copywriter for Nordeus, a mobile game developer company. In this role, he is responsible for reviewing and suggesting changes to the content of their football manager game, “Top Eleven.” Mark ensures that the game’s content reflects the language and atmosphere of real football, adding an extra level of realism and authenticity to the product.

What advice does Mark Pitman have for aspiring football writers?

Mark Pitman believes that subject knowledge, trusting one’s own opinions, and maintaining a balanced argument supported by facts are crucial for aspiring football writers. He also emphasizes the importance of being respectful when criticizing individuals and rising above sensationalism in today’s football media landscape. Building a network of contacts, being well-prepared, and simplifying complex issues are other key skills and strategies for success in the industry.

How can I connect with Mark Pitman and explore more of his work?

To learn more about Mark Pitman and explore his work, you can visit his website at www.markpitman1.com. Additionally, you can connect with him on Twitter to stay updated on his latest projects, insights, and contributions to the football industry.