Friday, August 02, 2013

SHFLtv - increased exposure for the Highland League

Nairn based cameraman Ross MacLean is a well-kent face up at Station Park but the County faithful might see a bit less of him this season as he travels Highland League grounds filming the action for the new Scottish Highland Football League Channel. He usually does the questioning at the end of the games as he speaks to the managers but we turned the tables on him recently and asked him a few questions about the new initiative for the League. Here's a transcript of a recent conversation with Ross:

How many games do you hope to cover over the coming season Ross?

The agreement is for one game per week and to provide fans with extended highlights with after-match interviews. My ultimate aim is to increase the coverage and appoint cameramen/women along with reporters across the Scottish Highland Football League. The increased exposure can only be good for the game for fans and also for Managers in producing better football for all concerned.

The Highland League is proving itself to be a fantastic product, do you think SHFLtv and its new multi-media approach will raise the league's profile even more?

Oh absolutely, the quality of the SHFL can be really good and some of the games have had tremendous goals and action unrivaled in even some of the bigger games in Scotland, from Conor Gethins (Nairn County) scoring from ridiculous angles to incredible point blank saves from Wick Academy’s Michael Gray and not.
forgetting young talent like Scott Barbour of Fraserburgh and the current Champions Cove Rangers. The SHFL is the only league where the winning team was decided on the last game! I have had emails from STV in Aberdeen looking for footage and their chief reporter Tyrone Smith has been impressed with what is on offer from both filming and action.

Have you had any interest shown in the videos from beyond the Highlands?

Yes, there has been a lot of interest from beyond the Highlands and in particular countries with ex-highlanders, for example Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand. In addition there has been a significant increase in views from oil-producing countries like Saudia Arabia, Nigeria and I have had emails from off-shore workers wondering if the footage can be viewed whilst abroad, obviously now it can!
With the audience covering the Highlands and Islands and around the world opportunities exist for companies and their logos to increase their exposure on this exciting new channel. It will be advantageous for companies to join SHFLtv right at the beginning of this venture

I hear there will possibly be a training element to the channel with more cameramen being recruited locally. Can you tell us more about that?

SHFLtv, in association with Thistle Channel, is also in the early stages developing relationships with colleges throughout the area with a view to recruiting trainee camera operators and reporters. The opportunity has the potential to enable trainees to gain invaluable experience and perhaps remain in their own communities rather then join the exodus of talent to the big cities.

What are the next few games that we will be able to see on the channel?

I was granted permission from the SFA to film the friendly games with SHFL teams playing Scottish Premier teams and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Division teams. I filmed Ryan Green’s testimonial game, Forres Mechanics v Elgin City. Regarding the league games the SHFL board will be producing a list of games to film, however the first game will be the champions Cove Rangers v Huntly on the 3rd August 2013.

Thanks Ross, looking forward to seeing some more of your videos as the season progresses.

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