As an eager BA (Hons) Football Business & Media student, Edmund Brack has announced himself amongst the very best having been shortlisted for the Football Writers’ Association inaugural Hugh McIlvanny Football Writer of the Year Award. Here, the UCFB Wembley student tells us what the nomination means to him, the ideas behind his writing, and his role as Crystal Palace Editor at VAVEL…

Tell us about the piece of work you submitted to the Football Writers’ Association and what it’s about.

The shortlisted piece is about a mysterious businessman – called Jerry Lim - who bought Crystal Palace for less than 60 seconds. In the piece, inspired by Citizen Kane and Searching for Sugar Man, I outline my journey to find him and the fascinating and worrying rabbit holes my investigation led me down.  The journey takes me to an early 2000’s girl band, Lim’s plans to turn Selhurst Park into a shopping complex and finding out who really was Jerry Lim.

What does being shortlisted for the award mean to you? 

It is a great achievement. To have renowned journalists looking at my work and deeming it good enough to be shortlisted alongside some of the best young football writers in the country is an indescribable feeling.

Tell us about your role as Crystal Palace Editor and football writer for VAVEL. What does it entail? 

VAVEL is the perfect place for aspiring student journalists. As Crystal Palace Editor, I organise match coverage for my team of five extremely talented writers. I am fortunate to have such a determined group of individuals alongside me who make my job a lot easier. VAVEL gave me a platform to express myself as a writer, and I will always be grateful for that. The opportunities they’ve provided for me – attending Premier League and EFL games, regularly attending Roy Hodgson’s press conferences and speaking to ex-players – are invaluable experiences.

Given your Crystal Palace expertise, who do you think will replace Roy Hodgson as the club’s manager next season?

Roy Hodgson said his replacement should be a “good” one, and he is 100% right. The Eagles are set for their most significant transition in almost eight years, with 12 players out of contract and the core management departing. The options are limitless – Steve Cooper, Valerian Ismael, Sean Dyche and Frank Lampard are all linked to the job. I personally believe that with the number of changes set to take place, a manager who has a survival instinct and Premier League experience should be at the top of the list. Dyche fits the bill, but would Burnley relinquish their cherished manager to a league rival?

In what ways has your Football Business & Media degree helped with this role and your writing in general? 

The first module we covered at UCFB was creating a blog. I decided to create one about Crystal Palace, and I arranged an interview with ex-Palace player Antonio Pedroza. It was an enthralling experience, speaking to an ex-player that I used to watch play for the club I love. That first module taught me to take risks.  

What are your career aspirations after leaving UCFB? 

Hopefully in the journalism industry. I love investigative journalism and writing stories that are yet to be told. However, one of my favourite aspects of the industry is speaking with players, managers and those involved in the world of football – it's a huge privilege.

What advice would you offer to students thinking of coming to study at UCFB? 

It’s a great place! UCFB has really given me the drive to succeed in this industry. The academics are so helpful, and they can tell you everything about the industry you want to go into. My best advice is to just throw yourself in at the deep end.