Born in Germany, raised in Preston — Dirk Copland now resides in State College, Pennsylvania, a town centred around Penn State University...
Copland was born into a family on its travels due to military commitments, and was therefore no stranger to travel. However, they finally settled in Lancashire, and that’s where his love affair with Blackburn Rovers began.
“I didn’t really have a team before we moved to Preston,” he explained.
“I was 12, and in my school a lot of people supported Manchester United, and I wasn’t going to follow them. Some of my friends supported Blackburn, and I’m a loyal man so I sided with them, and have followed them ever since.
“We’re well on our way to being back where we belong. It’s been tough, but there’s positivity around the Club again, and I’ve been able to witness the rise thanks to iFollow.”
Copland had struggled to see much of his beloved Rovers in the US, and was in disbelief when he discovered the EFL’s new streaming service at the start of last season.
Overseas supporters are able to watch EFL fixtures via iFollow providing they have not been selected for broadcast on Sky Sports or for international distribution in a territory to have an overseas broadcast partner at a cost of just £110 for a season pass, or on a match-by-match basis for £5.
Before its introduction, he would catch them on TV once or twice a season, but now he has his Saturday routine of kicking back around 10am and watching the action unfold.
“iFollow has been amazing,” stated Copland.
“It came around the season we had dropped to Sky Bet League One, so I knew my chance to see them on US TV would be even more limited.
“When I read about iFollow, I had to read it a few times to make sure it was true. It's amazing, having the opportunity to watch all Rovers games has been great. Watching them win week in week out was good.
“Some tweaks needed making from last season, and they've been made. The service has been brilliant. I'm expecting a tougher season to watch this year.”
The iFollow platform is the only place to watch enhanced coverage of Sky Bet Championship matches in 2018/19, with a four camera production deployed at each midweek fixture to create a better viewing experience.
Alongside an enhanced camera production in the Championship, graphics packages and commentary services have also been vastly improved for supporters of Clubs based in Sky Bet League One and Sky Bet League Two.
He continued: “Being in the US, the timings kind of work in my favour. The games come on around 10am, so we try and go and do the grocery shopping before that, and then I have my football time where nobody is allowed to bother me.
“I’m back in the UK for Christmas too, so I’m hoping to actually get down to Ewood Park for a match too.”
Copland is just one of many supporters to subscribe to the iFollow service with a season pass, and you can find out more about the subscription options on iFollow by clicking here.