Jamie Thomas is a 23-year-old Media Masters graduate and lifelong Wales fan who writes on many aspects of Welsh football for various media outlets. Here he writes about his experiences publishing two highly successful books on his one passion – Welsh football.
‘As many other sports journalists and writers have told me in the past, they realised fairly quickly that they were never going to be good enough to play football at the highest level, so they turned their attentions to becoming known for writing about football at the highest level. I am at the very start of that journey, and I have loved absolutely every single second of it.
Over the past two years, minus the two that everyone has had on their calendars, I have had some 120 Christmases – 120 opportunities/interviews to talk to various Welsh footballing figures, idols, heroes – whether they be players, coaches, journalists, fans, whoever, they’re all legends – about the subject we’re all so passionate about and it has been absolutely the biggest privilege of my young life.
They say you should never meet your heroes, but I’ve met quite a few of mine by now: Joe Ledley, Wayne Hennessey, Osian Roberts, Chris Coleman, Kit Symons, Ian Mitchell, Chris Gunter, Neil Taylor, Sam Vokes, Jonny Williams, Emyr Huws, the list goes on, and they’re all absolutely fantastic, lovely, brilliant people – I am so humbled by the experiences I’ve had at such a young age that I’m almost embarrassed to talk about it.
I could never have imagined two years ago when I was deliberating writing my first book that I’d be sat here now reminiscing about the experience of writing a second, but what an experience it was: whether that be actually spending the month in France sampling the atmosphere, or coming back home afterwards and spending hours upon hours, week after week, calling and meeting various people from all walks of life to relive it all, to shake our heads in disbelief, and to just fall in love with the journey all over again.
That’s the only real thing I could say about this experience – I’ve loved it. Truly, absolutely, head over heels loved it and, although it has been a bit stressful at times, as all good love stories are I guess, I would do it all again 10,000 times over in a heartbeat!’
When Dragons Dare to Dream is the follow-up to Jamie Thomas’ successful The Dragon Roars Again, charting the amazing progress of the Welsh football team through Euro 2016.
The book includes in-depth analysis of and insight into the journey taken during the summer of 2016, including an exclusive interview with Mark Evans of the FAW which offers a glimpse into the preparations for and events in the team base during the tournament. Players and team staff also offer their exclusive comments, including Joe Ledley and Chris Gunter.
When Dragons Dare to Dream by Jamie Thomas is out now
(£9.99, Y Lolfa)