My former boss and a few people who I have had the pleasure of working alongside over the last couple of years have very kindly agreed to sing my praises.
Here’s what they had to say:
Mark Neilson – Managing Director, FLIC Wiltshire:
Andrew first started working for me in December 2014 at a time when FLIC was still in its very early stages, especially on the sports desk.
I took him on because I could see that he had plenty of potential but just needed a proper platform on which to shine and express himself.
Andrew was very raw at first but his passion for journalism and Swindon sport was infectious, and I believe that enthusiasm has played a big part in his success over the last two years.
It wasn’t long before he started to build up a huge following when it came to his superb and diverse coverage of Swindon Town.
Using the power of social media and his own networking skills, Andrew soon became the go-to-man for many fans of the Robins and he also built up an excellent relationship with the club, while he won many plaudits for his outstanding coverage of the club’s build-up to the 2014/15 League One Play-Off Final at Wembley.
Able to break news and with a good eye and ear for an exclusive or newsworthy story, Andrew was always at the front of the line when it came to breaking sports news and he helped us compete with far more established media outlets in the town.
Putting in long hours on a day-to-day basis, Andrew helped to take FLIC to the next level and transformed our readership figures.
Andrew was always eager to learn and always took on board every bit of advice given to him, attributes that I believe helped to mould him into an excellent and hugely talented sports journalist.
He also came on leaps and bounds in his second year at FLIC, working tirelessly to expand the sports desk’s coverage of other sports in Swindon and proving that he had more than one string to his bow.
Andrew put hours upon hours of work into covering Swindon’s ice hockey and speedway teams, its boxing community and the local grassroots scene, in addition to Swindon Town, producing a portfolio of work that any journalist would be proud of.
FLIC Wiltshire was crowned the EDF’s South West Website of the Year in 2015 and Andrew was at the heart of that success.
Andrew was a hugely popular figure amongst his colleagues and was a pleasure to work with – I would highly recommend him to any media outlets who are on the lookout for a talented and hardworking sports journalist.
Rebecca Woods – Former News Editor at FLIC Wiltshire and former History Correspondent at the Swindon Advertiser:
I met Andrew 18 months ago when he came to work as Sports Editor for FLIC Wiltshire.
It quickly became evident that Andrew was a dedicated and hardworking person who was always willing to go that extra mile in order to provide readers with all of the latest and breaking sports news from in and around Swindon.
Andrew quickly established a loyal following of sports fans by using a variety of social media platforms as well as the website in order to successfully engage with local fans both old and young.
Leading the way, he was often first to break local sporting stories as well as providing readers with regular exclusives.
Andrew also provided fans with excellent live match updates on both the website and via Twitter.
Andrew’s hard work, commitment and dedication was recognised in July 2015 when the team were awarded the prestigious EDF Website of the Year Award.
I have no doubt that this will be the first of many awards for Andrew and wish him the very best of luck with his new venture.
Helen Marks – Former Digital Sales and Marketing Manager at FLIC Wiltshire:
I worked with Andrew for just under two years at FLIC and always found him to be extremely hardworking, passionate and dedicated when it came to delivering sports news to the people of Swindon.
With a remarkable passion for the job and the teams and sports he covered, Andrew was known for putting in long hours in order to stay ahead of his rivals and deliver the latest news and exclusives.
And, despite being the only member on FLIC’s Sports Desk, he quickly built up a large following on social media, which enabled him to attract a large audience reach for his vast array of stories.
Andrew has a natural talent when it comes to writing and, combined with an admirable work ethic, would be a huge asset for any media outlet.
Gary Rose – BBC Sport Journalist and former Chief Sports Writer at the Swindon Advertiser:
I knew of Andrew from my time covering Swindon Town in my role as Chief Sports Writer of the Swindon Advertiser and was keen to see how he developed at FLIC Wiltshire.
I only ever saw a hardworking and dedicated journalist, who made excellent use of social media to engage with fans and keep them up to date with all the latest information.
He pursued and got exclusives, worked hard to uncover transfer news and provided excellent match updates online and via Twitter.
To challenge traditional media outlets like the Swindon Advertiser and not only provide a viable alternative source of news and information to such an established outlet, but also contribute to a young website winning a prestigious media award is a hugely impressive achievement and, for that reason, I have no doubt that he will be a big asset for his next employer in journalism.
Steve Butt – Managing Director of Your Sport Swindon and former Sports Editor at the Swindon Advertiser:
I have known Andrew for a few years now and have always kept a close and keen eye on his development in journalism.
Andrew first came to my attention during my time as Sports Editor at the Swindon Advertiser, at which point he was just dipping his toe in journalism.
Despite having no previous training or qualifications, Andrew quickly proved his talent and thirst for writing during his early days at FLIC Wiltshire and wasted little time in establishing himself as a key member of the sports journalism scene in Swindon.
Passionate, hardworking, dedicated and with an unrelenting determination to become a success, he built up a huge following on social media and became the voice of authority when it came to his beloved Swindon Town Football Club, impressing hugely with his coverage of the club’s journey to the 2015 League One Play-Off Final at Wembley.
Andrew also, despite manning a sports desk on his own, managed to provide extensive coverage on Swindon’s ice hockey team, the Swindon Wildcats, in addition to doing an excellent job when it came to reporting on the town’s speedway outfit, thriving boxing scene and the hub of grassroots clubs.
Andrew thrived on the competition from other local and more established media outlets and could be relied upon for breaking exclusives and using his ever-expanding contacts book to deliver the latest news on a consistent basis.
Social media has completely changed the journalism landscape and Andrew quickly adapted to this, keeping fans in the loop at all times with his excellent and committed approach when it came to using Twitter and Facebook.
All in all, Andrew is an innovative and talented sports journalist who is able to boast a superb work ethic and I would have no hesitation in recommending him to potential employers.
Sally Price – Marketing Manager at Swindon Wildcats Ice Hockey:
I met Andrew when I started my career with the Swindon Wildcats and we have had a great working relationship ever since.
The media game can be tough but we have always had amazing coverage and consistent hard work from Andrew over the years.
Whether it’s game day coverage or day-to-day PR, the service has been second to none. No request is ever too much and the support for the marketing department and our Swindon Wildcats team has been spot on!
Andrew is a joy to work with and I look forward to many more business ventures in the future.