UCFB takes pride in providing students with the best possible work placements which develop workplace skills and make their name in the industry.

One of the most recent partnership opportunities saw UCFB link up with the Cascadia Association Football Federation (CAFF) and Prost founder Steve Clare, ahead of their upcoming fixture against Kernow (Cornwall) at Northwood FC’s Fenton Engineering Stadium on Saturday 22nd May.

Three talented UCFB students specialising in various areas of the sports industry were selected to play an influential part in running the fixture through various capacities. Whilst we’ll hear from Daniel Davies and Max Fleet in the not-too-distant future, we begin a series of articles exploring their roles by talking to Director of Communications, Matt Smith…

Matt is a BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Broadcasting student at UCFB Etihad Campus, and he initially explained how he came across the placement with CAFF earlier this month.

He said: “Being a first-year student at UCFB, I’m enormously aware of the vast range of work placements that UCFB offer with their industry partners. Therefore, I regularly keep up-to-date with the placements on JobTeaser in order to help my development in a professional environment.

“The opportunity to work with an international football federation in the form of CAFF, was one that excited me, so I applied for instantly.”

Matt admitted that the application process was completed shortly, with the help of Prost Amerika and International founder Steve Clare. Steve explained: "Prost aims to provide a platform for young journalists to develop, gain experience and prepare themselves for the commercial journalistic world. We don't focus on profit. In fact, it costs money to run the site.

“There are too few bridges between sports journalism colleges and the paid press. We try and provide one.”

Whilst Matt applied with the idea of covering the game for a media outlet, he was delighted to be trusted to take on a role with greater significance.

“On that first email from Steve, he explained how he saw attributes of mine complementing the job of Director of Communications. Despite having those nerves that come with bigger roles, I was overjoyed that Steve had shown the belief in me to offer the position.”

With the team only having just over two weeks to work with before the fixture, Matt got down to work quickly. He explained that his role is made up of various responsibilities, including attracting press to the match and covering news stories involving all parties.

Looking ahead to the match, Matt said: “Saturday will be a busy day. I’ll be welcoming press to the game, organising and conducting player and manager interviews, as well as ensuring everything runs smoothly.”

His work ethic and output has impressed Steve too. He said: "Matt adapted to the project in hand very quickly. After one briefing, he took on full control of his remit. Studying journalism at a college is by its nature an individual challenge. Helping Prost International and Cascadia organise a game is a team effort.

“Although Matt was invited to Prost for this specific project, he will be welcome to remain with us and continue to develop his skills."

The importance of work experience is not lost on Matt who offered words of wisdom to his fellow students. He said: “As an example to show current and future students, being appointed Director of Communications has opened up a whole new avenue for me personally. I hadn’t considered a career in communications previously, but having enjoyed the role and gained experience, it’s a route I will research further.”

He added: “I would actively encourage all UCFB students to find industry experience as soon as they can, the results will be priceless for their future career.”

Tickets for the match are available through Northwood’s ticketing function.