As we get ready for our last home game of the season we caught up with The Terras live stream commentator, Ben Ashelford, to discuss how the season has been for him and his plans for the future.

You can follow Ben on Twitter and on LinkedIn.


Tomorrow is our last home game of the season and your first as our live stream commentator, how’s the season been for you?

It’s been a massive learning curve for me. I have most certainly made mistakes as I have gone along, I just hope that the fans have enjoyed the coverage.

You started by doing the commentary for our online radio coverage and then made the move to the live stream this season. What are the main differences?

From a personal point of view, I much prefer the radio-style commentary to the TV-style. The main differences are that, with radio, you have to be more descriptive. I feel sometimes that providing good radio coverage is becoming a slightly lost art. I really struggled to begin with when I switched from one to the other.

Who are your influences as a commentator?

I grew up listening to some of the best in the game. BBC had wonderfully talented commentators such as Mike Ingham and Alan Green. On TV I started to admire the commentators that worked so hard on the women’s game, Jonathan Pearce and Adam Summerton are both really talented.

What was the toughest, or easiest, game to commentate on this season?

Any game that I have been able to attend and commentate on this season has been an honour and a privilege. Whilst the amazing fans are locked out of the ground, I have been very lucky to be able to attend, that’s something that I don’t take lightly. Having said that, if I never remember that Yeovil game at home then I’ll be happy.

You’ve received some great feedback from opposition fans for your fair commentating style. What’s it like to get feedback from the opposition fans?

I love getting praise from supporters of all clubs, but it’s something I have had to get used to. I’ve never been one for self-promotion, so it was quite the surprise the first few times that it happened. I was also getting small amounts of criticism from the Terras support for being too biased against Weymouth, which also took me by surprise.

You’ve been joined by John Waldock as co-commentator for the last few games. How’s it been having someone by your side?

John is a great guy. He told me that he would be available and I sent a cheeky message a few days later and we were off. We have built a good chemistry together and intend to keep going as a partnership for as long as the fans will have us!

You went viral a few months ago after getting tongue-tied during a commentary. What’s it like to receive the social media attention? Has it helped your career at all?

I found it hilarious how quickly that blew up. It was pretty surreal to see my error pop up everywhere on social media for a few days. Hopefully, it just shows how important it can be to laugh at yourself.

You somehow kept your cool when commentating on our National League South playoff win against Dartford. As a passionate Terras fan, how was that?

Very hard! John was with me that day too and we agreed that, despite both being Weymouth fans, it was only fair to be balanced. I’ve never liked the thought of away supporters paying money for a fully Weymouth-centric commentary. My philosophy is that although I’m Weymouth first, people deserve to pay for unbiased commentary.

If you could commentate any Terras game from the past what one would it be?

I dubbed over some commentary for the club as a part of the Take-Two feature last summer, which included the Nottingham Forest FA Cup game. If I could go back in time, I’d love to have commentated live from the City Ground that day.

You’ve recently started commentating on some other games, including the Copa Del Rey final and the FA Cup Semi-Finals. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

I was approached by a Czech company that provides commentary for betting sites and live score sites. They pay me a small amount per game. It’s fantastic for the experience.

What are your ambitions as a commentator?

I would love to go on and work for TalkSport of BBC Five Live. I also would like to work in the women’s game, perhaps commentating for FA Player.

You’ve mentioned on Twitter that you’ve got a few more projects lined up? Can you tell us a bit more about them yet?

I have a radio-style documentary coming very soon. I have spoken to people at Bury FC/AFC, Darlington and FC United. I’m examining how these clubs have suffered due to ownership, or identity issues. The overall theme is to encourage fans to check out their local clubs.

And finally…. Which player would you secretly put on mute if they offered to co-commentate?

I’ve been joined by Calvin Brooks, who was brilliant, but I’d put Thommo on mute for sure…and I wouldn’t tell him either!


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