Football Through Drones – Grassroot T.V

Non-league football fans locally might have recently started to notice a weird looking bright orange hovering object delicately propelling in the skies at the side of some the counties pitches.

The more regular occurrences are at matches in the Nottinghamshire Senior League, Wollaton Angels’ Charity games and those of the East Midlands Women’s Regional League too, all filmed through the engine of self-employed roofer Andrew, who has recently set up his ‘drone camera’ to film amateur football games in and around the city of Nottingham, through his YouTube channel Grassroot T.V.

Andrew, who’s recent matches included Basford United Development verses Radcliffe Olympic, Sandiacre Town against Woodthorpe Park Rangers, FC Sez and Stapleford Town, Retford Women against Mansfield Town Ladies and many more… Said on how he got involved in this strangest of situations, that it was all by total chance…

“I brought the drone mainly for work, but a friend who manages West Bridgford AFC asked me to film his game for him to review. It was mainly an offer to get me out the house. Which I needed at the time.”

“It took days to put the raw footage together and get it over to the lads and started taking up a lot of my time. So I thought I’d find a way to go live and when I did that, it also gave me audio, which prompted the notion for having scores and graphics overlaid on the video. I honestly never meant to build what I had, but I pretty much had all the means at my disposal, minus a few licences for software.”

Andrew continued “After three long months of deep diving into broadcasting and learning what software’s to use – I had managed to connect the drone to my laptop without buying specialist broadcast hardware”.

“This allowed me to get the content out faster and although I stopped going live to speed up the production, now it’s a case of when the game is finished so am I”.

Currently Andrew’s games are posted shortly after the local matches he’s attended but future plans could see the Grassroot T.V broadcast go real time, with the man himself explaining “On the whole going live and everything else, I am set ready to go. It is just a case of having another laptop to send the production out.”

“We currently run with one laptop and two mobiles. The drone itself has a 6k gimble and can shoot 1080p60fps with a one second delay. Coupled with its 720 degrees obstacle avoidance technologies and propeller guards we can fly safely for up to 3hrs in up to 40mph winds.”

With exciting possibilities in moving forward, Andrew said “All of this just for a little hobby, To keep me sane at the weekends when I’m not working, I see a potential to provide a platform for these upcoming ballers – I’d like to be able to monetize the channel and donate some back to the league’s not so fortunate clubs and help out where I can. If I can”.

“More camera angles are also possible, as well as interviews with players and managers of the clubs we visit and a full-time commentator would be magic, maybe with advertising or sponsorships within the production – well there no telling where this could go really – we are only just at the start.”

A recent game filmed between Sandiacre Town & Woodthorpe Park Rangers.

Andrew knows that he has something of a unique product for a vibrant market that is largely untapped, that could potentially see his footage used for a huge number of scenarios, but to give it an extra boost, a live channel with Grassroot T.V could certainly change the way how non-league football is watched going forward, Andrew rightly says “Going live is the key”.

“The only way to get the data live is to send my production via HDMI into a separate laptop and connect that to a mobile network to send out to YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, TikTok, wherever really.”

On future games, Andrew mentioned “I have said to all the clubs I have visited that I will do the top teams of the NSL. Alternating each week between. And any other game they are interested in me filming”.

But Andrew also knows that the product does come with a price tag, and he’s more than happy to accept bookings of anybody interested in using his services. Stating “I met the secretary for the league last weekend at Basford. She has said to me that she has spoken with the FA and I can continue to do this so long as I have both teams permission prior to games – which is fair if you ask me”.

Andrew has already provided free drone footage which has been a superbly useful resource for sides like Nottingham Forest Women and Basford United FC, with his Charity contribution for the magnificent AC team having a positive effect and awareness on great causes too (all the proceeds from Angels games are donated to the causes they are played for), but despite his own donations and kind gestures to provide free video footage on games for our local teams, Andrew still knows that it can’t go on forever as a free service, saying “monetization is key if I’d like to be able to support those that are allowing me to do this. But it will also help with me putting adverts out and getting a full-time commentary team, which is where the added X-factor is.”

He said “I’d love to get to a point like that, or some sort of weekend non-league TV show/podcast. It would be really ace and something I’d have never thought about. Before this I had no background in football let alone non-league.”

“I have enjoyed this journey though and would love for it to continue to progress and grow into who knows what? That will always need support though. Monetisation comes from sharing and subscribing, so even if by giving it a like or share to your friends it would help grow the brand into becoming something for everyone to enjoy”.

Andrew is hoping to be at tomorrow’s Notts Senior League Premier Division match between Southwell City and FC Sez and has also been in touch with Basford United about filming their upcoming under 21 game with Newark FC on the 15th March.

Interested in your club using Andrew’s services? For more information on how you can get in touch with Andrew to come along and attend your matches with his drone, or if you have ideas on how Andrew can help your team or sport in video, email for more details, or to see a catalogue of recent games recorded by Andrew visit the Grassroot T.V website via YouTube and check out the excellent footage for yourself.

Finally, you can give Andrew a follow-on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter @GrassRoot_T.V where you’ll regularly find uploads of all the GOALS from the games he’s filmed.

*Article provided by Daniel Peacock (Editor).

*Main image @Grassroot_TV action from a recent match between Basford United and Radcliffe Olympic.

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