After bagging a hat-trick at the Wales Blog Awards 2011, Phil Stead was in buoyant mood about the role of his work in Welsh football.
Our man Gareth Rogers caught up with Phil to ask him about how he started recording his thoughts about the beautiful game on the information super-highway.
The Cardiff City fan who won Best Blog, People’s Choice Award and Best Sports Blog for his Ffwtbol site, takes up the story: “I was writing for fanzines in the early 1990s and blogging developed for me as another way to write articles.
The 44-year-old, who is currently writing a book about Welsh football called “The Red Dragons,” added: “It all started in 1996 when I set up Eric the Red’s Welsh Football Blog.
“It’s hard to tell whether a blog is doing well or not.
“The numbers aren’t fantastic and sometimes it can be frustrating when I put a lot of hours into writing and researching articles and it only gets 80 or 100 hits.
“Other times I can write articles criticising teams and they will do a lot better but I would prefer for the quality to be there.”
But the former BBC journalist thinks himself lucky to be able to write without the barriers of the mainstream media, saying: “I have never really looked at it as a blog, it’s a way for me to get things off my chest.
“I am just lucky that with a blog I don’t have to write for an editor or to a deadline. I can write what I want, when I want and how much I want, whether that’s one article a week or three a day.
“Writing a football blog gives me a good platform because I think Welsh football fans feel disenfranchised with the mainstream British press and feel as though we are not given fair coverage.
“As far as the Welsh press goes, a lot of people feel they are biased towards rugby but I don’t hold that view personally.
“Mostly, I think local football fans are fed up of reading about Manchester United and Chelsea and I would like to think that I offer plenty of comment about local football to fans.
The former Cantonian High School pupil, who now lives in Y Felinheli, North Wales, claims the online football community is growing and there is still an appetite for underground writing from regulars on the football terraces in the style of the fanzines he wrote in throughout the 1990s.
He said: “I have found that people tend not to make comments on my site and my articles but they will on Facebook and Twitter but the community is growing.
“I don’t read a lot of other blogs but I think the most interesting ones have lots of opinion and a fresh angle on everything that’s written.”