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Tweeting From Austria

Andy Lewis, 10th July 2011 - 11:32

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Andy Lewis

Andy Lewis

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Andy is a digital media journalist at Everton, working for evertonfc.com and evertontv.

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The Everton squad's newfound fascination with Twitter was never better demonstrated than during their training camp in the Austrian Alps.

With bags of time on their hands between and after gruelling sessions, several players turned to micro-blogging to occupy themselves.

Whether it was pictures of the dazzling scenery, updates on training or mocking their peers, the likes of Phil Neville, Louis Saha and Tim Cahill were giving their hundreds of thousands of followers a peek behind the scenes.

While he wasn’t the first Blue to dabble with tweeting, skipper Neville (@Fizzer18) is probably the most active on the site.

Since signing up midway through April, Neville has fired off more than 2,000 tweets at an average of about 25 a day.

So it was no surprise to hear him extolling its virtues during a webchat in Austria. In fact, with around 100 wide-ranging questions already flooding in the very first one he chose to answer was about Twitter.

He even went as far to say he was actively encouraging other members of the squad to join up to ‘increase interaction with supporters’.

Neville makes a good point. Twitter takes out the middle man. Fans are able to hear opinions directly from the horse’s mouth, reply, pose questions and air their own views.

Where supporters used to treasure dog-eared autograph books, a retweet from your favourite player has emerged like some form of digital alternative to a scrawl of biro.

Neville’s other point about Twitter is that it allows supporters a glimpse of players’ personalities, again true, and both a good and a bad thing for followers of footballers.

In the case of the Everton Twitter mob, the site has become an extension of Finch Farm, with players trading insults and constantly skitting one another.

In fact, and you can be sure it was no coincidence, Tim Cahill’s (@Tim_Cahill) account suddenly came out of hibernation after seeing Neville lay into Seamus Coleman (@seamiecoleman23) and other teammates.

Not all footballers are as entertaining as the Blue contingent. Following one Premier League striker for three months revealed the only things he did more frequently than misspell words was eat Nandos and have his haircut.

When he is not chiding his teammates Neville is normally discussing the wider game with top journalists or answering fans’ questions.

Cahill enjoys posting pictures, retweets a lot of supporters and generally gets stuck into Neville.

Louis Saha (@louissaha08) and Sylvain Distin (@sylvaind15tin) – two recent big name additions to the team of tweeting Blues – post in both French and English. Saha adopts a more thoughtful approach, while Distin likes to hold impromptu Q&A sessions.

It is not for everyone mind, Hibbo and Ossie both said in a webchat that despite plenty of requests from supporters, neither have any plans to join their teammates on the site.

But for Blues on Twitter there are many players to follow.

Club Twitter: @youreverton

Players on Twitter: Phil Neville (@fizzer18), Tim Cahill @Tim_Cahill, Louis Saha (louissaha08), Sylvain Distin (@sylvaind15tin), John Heitinga (@Johnheitinga), Seamus Coleman (@seamiecoleman23), Shane Duffy (@ShaneDuffy1), Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (@Bilyaletdinov_7), Jack Rodwell (@JackRodwell26), Ross Barkley (@RBarkley32), James Wallace (@jwallace38), Jose Baxter (@jbaxter37).

Most Followers (as of 9am on 10 July)

 

Phil Neville

142,923

Tim Cahill

76,999

John Heitinga

35,985

Seamus Coleman

29,582

Louis Saha

28,496


Some tweets from Austria

 

Shane Duffy

Second session done, much better football getting the touch back some rusty touches out there!

 

Tim Cahill

Search is on for the room trashers hahahahahhha on the blues trip. And buckets of water coming from the windows. #Toffeesontour

 

Jose Baxter

Wow that run was hard. We go lost which put a extra 25 minutes on the journey. #extrainthetank

 

Phil Neville

Great session done total football-possesion pressing the ball 2vs2's-hard on legs but really enjoyable- I love my job so much!

 

Louis Saha

8am session done. 2 more today again. The lads ran 45mn in the woods. Wow. 40 more days to go. Lol

Top Three Twitpics from Austria

Sylvain Twitpic1. 'Me & My Best Friend' by Sylvain Distin.

 Wallace Twitpic2. 'BMX Bandits' by James Wallace

Baxter Twitpic3. 'The Champion' by Jose Baxter.

Latest Blogs by Andy Lewis

Tom Mc AndrewIt's great having them on! Saha, Distin and Billy are the best for replying to you!

Monday 11th July 17:23 Report Comment

Ajamu MutumwaI love them on twitter, though Neville can seem a bit harsh on poor Seamus, who it has to be said, gives as good as he gets

Monday 11th July 12:36 Report Comment
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