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The emergence of more regular columns on Southstander is something that Iíd love to see happen during this upcoming season. Itís now my third year as a columnist on here and Iíve loved nearly every minute of it. I feel that 'The Damo Bit' has given me a fantastic platform to entertain fellow rugby league fans in the best way that I can. Admittedly my column has had its bad weeks, but then again I have yet to ever come across a regular columnist whose articles are faultless every week.
This Leeds Rhinos fansite has been blessed with some fantastic columns during its' existence. It is the birthplace of the PFU Chairman (he might dispute that) who many of us have a soft spot for when heís active. One of my favourite regular columns over the years was David Bywaters' Player Appraisal because of the debates that would follow on the forums after it was published and Iím sure that many would love to see a return to Oldham Rhinos in depth publications about the academy.
At the heart of Southstander is the main man himself, Paul. On top of doing his fantastic match reports, for years he has provided a creative space for writers of all abilities to play with. He has also given us all a chance to sponsor a rising star in the team and to view quality match day photos sent to us by rlphotos. This has been great for me because I get to use quality photos in The Damo Bit too. Many a time I have used the photos sent as a starting point of what to write some weeks.
This season I really want to up my efforts in producing this column to the highest quality that I can, to thank those whoíve shown faith in The Damo Bit over the last couple of years. I canít guarantee that Iíll be a sensation that the rugby league masses will flock to from all over the world to read every week. However as long as at least one person enjoys what I try to do here, then itíll be worth it. Any more than that will be a bonus.
Alongside my column I will be trying to champion as many rugby league columns that come through RLFANS, and elsewhere as much as possible on my Twitter. Itíd be nice to see some of the rugby players and media stars on Twitter champion what people are doing for free here and elsewhere. I will also be trying to put together 'The Damo Bit Show' which will be piloted sometime this year. After that then who knows what Iíll do with the show. It might just become an irregular thing because Iíve got a lot on with my volunteering, which could see me turned into the Alan Partridge of Farsley.
Finally I just want to introduce you all to my friend Lee Firth who will be editing The Damo Bit throughout 2012 to take the pressure off Paul. Lee is not only editing this column, I am dedicating The Damo Bit to him in hope that it will give him much needed exposure. Lee is turning fifty this year and has never had a job, despite having skills that would compliment a suitable work place. I know itís a long shot but Iím hoping that someone in the rugby league community will be able to find him work before he hits retirement age. Hopefully we can help him where the job centre and many other organisations have failed him throughout his life.
Lee does a regular blog about his walks in the Peak District which I highly recommend you take a look at - http://peakwalking.blogspot.com/
Letís hope this year is a success and that we see old columnists return and new ones emerge. If you're lucky you might get a yellow badge!
P.S. - The Damo Bit is now on twitter