INTERVIEW: 2016 Winner Matthew Eeles

Published:  23 November, 2016

This year’s Top Technician was the closest ever and all of our final five were winners for getting this far, as were our semi-finalists. However, it was Matthew Eeles, of Saffron Autos in Saffron Walden, who came out on top to win the coveted Spark Plug trophy, prizes from Snap-on, Euro Car Parts, Ring and the RMI and most importantly, the title of Top Technician.

Aftermarket Editor Phil Curry spoke to Matthew a few days after his win to see how it was sinking in.

Did you have any idea how well you did?

No idea, I did the online one, got through to the semi and thought that was fair enough, then I got through to the last five and was shocked to be there. I was even more shocked to win it! I didn’t think I’d get that far, it wasn’t about winning, just testing to see how far I could go. Winning the title was a complete and utter shock!

Why did you enter?

I have tried Top Technician before online a long while ago, and found out what area I was weak on. It’s taken a while but I’d found and taken courses to try and fill in those gaps in my knowledge, staying late and using my own time to work things out and go over problems that I’d encountered in the workshop. I did it this year to see how far I’d got and it all seemed to fall into place.

I entered many moons ago and got to the top 25 but no further. I tried again online a couple of years ago but didn’t get to try again until this year, concentrating on training, both in work and fitness. I thought I’d give it another go this year and here I am!

What did you think when your name was called?

I didn’t think to be honest, it was total shock, I had to stop and wonder ‘did he say my name?’ Speaking to the other contestants on the Friday evening after the final, I thought I had done ok, but I didn’t think I was in the trophy placings. So when Stephen (Harrison) as runner up I thought oh well, I’m happy making it. When They said my name I was gobsmacked, emotional, I couldn’t smile I was so surprised! Took a good few minutes before it sunk it.

How have the prizes gone down?

As soon as I got home the iPad was working, mainly due to the kids wanting to use it, and the Snap-on kit is open and ready to be used as well. I’m looking forward to using the ECP and Ring products too!

The trophy is in reception, right on the top, as soon as you walk in then it’s the first thing you see. All the parts delivery people who are coming in are seeing it, they’re telling other drivers and garages, so word is spreading about the win.

Why should people enter Top Technician?

I didn’t event dream I would win it. You just have to give it a go and test yourself and who knows, you might win the title. You have to be in it to win it, try, give it a go, make a note of anything you struggle on and go back to learn. You have to give it a go.

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