It is with great pleasure that The Hype Train announces the birth of its latest expansion, the unveiling of a project close to our hearts for two years, Hype Train Football Club. The beautiful game is at the heart of our website's wide array of content and now we have taken a big leap forward, coming from beyond our virtual pages and in to the real world of grassroots football. All aboard.
From Pages to the Pitch: Hype Train FC
Formed in March 2015, The Hype Train was born out of the love of Fantasy sports by Robert Austin, twin brother Sam Austin and Phil Jones. We pride ourselves on feature written articles and producing well-designed info-graphics to aid football enthusiasts around the world.
4 years and 840 articles later, with 25 thousand tweets across our social channels published, 7,000 images personally designed and shared, and over 1 million unique visitors to our website in that time, our blue and gold brand has reached the phones and computers of visitors from around the globe.
Our analytical reporting and countless hours on Adobe Photoshop saw The Hype Train nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.
For 4 years our website has primarily operated as a Fantasy Football website covering Fantasy Premier League and MLS Fantasy, and today at 7pm (GMT) on Saturday 15th June 2019, The Hype Train's Co-Founder, Robert Austin, finally announced the club's formation, becoming the first fantasy football website to take to the field.
HTFC is a socially active grassroots team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles that will show off our own players from a Fantasy football perspective.
Hype Train Football Club: Information ahead of the 2019/20 Season
Hype Train FC is based in Reading, England and was formed by The Hype Train's Co-Founder's, Robert Austin (Club Secretary), Sam Austin (Club Chairman) and Phil Jones (Club Treasurer). Making up our young 5-person management team is Rod Stevens (Sporting Director) and Alex O'Keeffe (Club Captain).
HTFC is a grassroots Saturday team that were recently granted entry into the East Berkshire Football League (EBFL) at their AGM on Thursday 13th June 2019. We will play our first competitive league match on Saturday 31st August 2019 in Division 2 (third-tier) of a 28-team league structure.
The squad will be holding closed training sessions at JMA Academy in Reading, though if you would like to be involved in any capacity, you can contact our team by email - firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the league, we have a fully functional website based right here at TheHypeTrain.co.uk, with everything the team and any followers will need to know for the upcoming season, including; a comprehensive team schedule, player statistics, contact information; social media links, latest articles and updates, match reports and video highlights.
We have also partnered with Kitlocker to create our own personalised Club Store, which is now live. Anyone can now get themselves kitted out with our match kits and training wear ahead of our debut season.
We have some very exciting news regarding sponsors a little down the line, so please stay tuned for future updates.
*Logo designed by Robert Austin and presented to the EBFL as a means to advance their league's appeal.
HTFC Insight from General Secretary, Robert Austin:
When our small 3-person team originally started out way back in 2014, when we didn't have a name for our website, or know what we wanted to do. We only wanted to have a name that was different in the sphere of the wider Fantasy Football Community online, so The Hype Train was born out of a sheer necessity to offer articles and a social media presence that couldn't be matches or copied in its design.
This website has developed my skills on a computer, advanced my design skills, and have helped make friends from across the world. We knew we wanted to start a football team, but it was only a pipe-dream. A Fantasy, more so than our weekly topics within Fantasy Premier League tailored articles.
We have been planning Hype Train FC for several years now and have built every foundation from the ground up, with our site's graphical evolution eventually shaping everything from the design of our Nike kits to our club crest and website.
I have been very fortunate to meet the right people along the way too. Rod Stevens has been instrumental in player recruitment for the past six months, whilst my club captain, Alex O'Keffee, has been nothing but supportive and encouraging as we transitioned out of our previous Saturday team, Woodley United.
The players in my team don't quite understand yet how good this journey will be. I want my players to express themselves the best they can, and we are offering everything from top of the range kits, to video highlights, and personalised pages. For me, it was integral, that as a Fantasy Football website, we incorporated some features in, so it was a must that we tracked our players statistics, provide bonus points after every game and have a points system based on the Fantasy Premier League game.
This is just the beginning for us, and if you're reading this as somebody who would like to get involved at any level with the club, I would love to speak to you about all things Hype Train.
Thoughts from Club Chairman, Sam Austin:
It cannot be understated how much work and effort has gone in to starting this club, and the levels of dedication Rob has put in to making Hype Train FC a reality.
I truly believe that our website offers a unique and highly-detailed fantasy football reporting. We are perfectionists at everything we want to do, and this ambitious football team will follow the same values that myself, Rob and Phil and believed in from day one.
We never wanted to make a normal football team and we believe that Hype Train FC, much like our website, has a global appeal. We can't wait to start sharing videos and photos from our training sessions and matches, and to engage with football people from the local area, and across the world too.
Thoughts from Sporting Director, Rod Stevens:
So for me, Hype Train FC is a dream come true. The team all came about last season during December 2018 (where Rob and Rod played together for Woodley United in the Thames Valley Premier League), standing still in a training session in -4 cold. I recall the moment I turned to Rob, miserable and needing a new challenge, and said we need to do something. We can’t go on like this.
After managing Woodley United B team 2 seasons' ago, everything going so well being top of the league and reaching a cup final, mid-way through the season it started to become a fight with having drop down players from teams above taking the place of my players and having to give 90 minutes of game time when they had never trained with us. It was hard to take and helped to slow my team's promotion push. We finished mid table and runners up in the final after players dropping down.
Then onto the new season (2018/19). Not much was said in pre-season. Training was changed to Woodford Park's 3G pitch and with 3 weeks until the season was due to start, we was told there was not enough players to make a B team, so the B team was no more and a select group all moved into the A team in the league above.
Most of us weren't wanted, rated or liked as players, even though we proved ourselves time and time again, game after game, win after win. It all started again. Players began to drop down. We started to just win games, hang on for draws and even lose games.... Personally, I was dropped 4 times and we lost 3 of those games, all being in a title-chasing season that we ultimately lost.
Training was cold, boring and we never took anything into the games on a Saturday that we had done on a Wednesday. When Rob approached me about The Hype Train starting a team, it was clear that we had a shared direction of where we wanted to take the club, and to learn from previous mistakes at old clubs.
I am massively buzzing to be starting a new chapter in my football life doing things the right way and having fun while winning! Bring on the season and the first game on August 31st. A big thank you to the EBFL for allowing us to play in their league. We want all belts.
Want to know more about The Hype Train?
The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.
We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.
In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles.
The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.