By Rebecca Hawksworth

Two UCFB students beat competitors from around the country to be crowned the Commentator’s Cup champions by EA Sports – the makers behind the FIFA computer game series.

Brandon Smith and Richard Buckley, both BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism students, took part in the competition which saw the pair’s audition video selected from hundreds of entries to make the final four.

The semi-finals and the final were judged by Premier League commentator Arlo White. With Arlo judging Brandon and Richard as the ultimate winners, it gave them the opportunity to commentate on a game at the FIFA Ultimate Team Finals in Berlin, which was watched online by 20,000 people.

Asked whether he had always had a passion for football commentary, Brandon said: “I have always loved the game of football, but you get to a stage where that childhood dream of becoming a footballer dies out, so I stumbled into commentary. I use to go to local matches with a dictaphone and record myself, just as a way to gain experience.”

At the start of the academic year the pair were given the opportunity via UCFB to take part in a six-week commentary course ran by Sky Sports’ Peter Smith.

Brandon said: “I had been waiting since 2014 for a chance to broadcast, but when Richard and I met, as a commentary partnership we just clicked. It was very surreal to even get past the audition stage of the competition, let alone win it.”

A victorious Richard added: “To win the competition was an unbelievable achievement, but it’s really only the start for us. This is a great launch pad for our careers.”

Brandon and Richard went on to talk about the vast array of opportunities that winning the Commentator’s Cup had opened up for them.

The pair said: “We are going to Munich next week to commentate on the FIFA Interactive World Cup Qualifiers, which is another fantastic opportunity for us to show our talent on the biggest of stages. The future is looking very promising for us both.”