Youngsters put Sweeney in the Spotlight

Mansfield Town defender Ryan Sweeney is no stranger to answering questions posed by the media, but last week during our February Half Term activities, faced a tougher grilling as youngsters aged 5 to 15 threw a range of questions at the former Stoke City man.

Participants had the opportunity to quiz the 22-year-old about his career and time at the One Call Stadium, learning how to write and structure questions based around emotion-led scenarios.

The workshop was led by Media and Communications Officer Craig Priest who said “The activity was really well received by participants who created some really good questions, both about the scenarios which we’d pre-set, and generally about his career and time at the club when we did the open Q&A.

“It can be quite an intimidating thing speaking to your idols and asking questions so we devised the workshop with the scenario cards for youngsters to have something to base questions on which then in turn, gave them a better understanding of how to ask more general questions which they certainly had the confidence to do towards the end!

“We’ve done interview based sessions a number of times within schools are part of Premier League Primary Stars, but having a real life footballer to join in and answer questions really takes it up a level and we’re very grateful for Ryan’s involvement”

Speaking about attending the activity and answering the youngsters’ questions, Sweeney said “It’s nice for the boys and girls who come here to the half-term activities to do different things which they may not get the opportunity to do again.

“From my point of view it’s nice to answer a few questions from the kids and give them an insight into life as a footballer and share some stories – it’s been a really good afternoon which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed”

Throughout the week, Football in the Community hosted five fun-days for boys and girls at the One Call Stadium – with defender Kelland Watts and midfielder Harry Charsley also attending to sign autographs and join in the fun, something Sweeney believes is a huge attraction for youngsters.

“Having the players attend is great for participants, they’ll remember days like to today – it’s really good fun, you meet new people and having it run by a clubs Community Scheme makes it that extra bit special as the majority of those attending are fans and keep coming back on match day which is great for the club” Sweeney added.