As a teenager, I always wanted to be a football journalist. While my mates were talking about playing in cup finals, I joked about reporting on these games. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of many avenues to explore in the mid 90’s. Teachers advised me to write to the BBC or local paper and keep my fingers crossed.
Five years ago, a friend and I decided to record our football related conversations purely because we argued so often about who said what and when.
These recordings turned into a raw, opinionated podcast which wasn’t going anywhere. That was until I spoke to a certain Phil Brown – host and owner of Beyond The Pitch podcast. His advice, guidance and support gave me the confidence to completely change the format and take the show to a different direction.
Since that conversation in 2014, Shoot The Defence has enabled me to experience more than I would have ever imagined. I’ve interviewed ex and current pros, coaches, CEO’s, agents and so many outstanding individuals involved in the game. The show is on the biggest independent network in Australia: FNX Network and is averaging just under 90,000 listens a month.
The icing on the cake (or so I thought at the time) was becoming a UEFA Accredited Broadcaster & attending the Champions League final in Cardiff – a proud moment and somewhat fitting as this was the last city my cousin visited outside her homeland before cancer took her life.
However, 2017 has ended in such a memorable way, as my interview with Paul Pogba – on behalf of Beyond The Pitch, went viral.
There are so many people I’d like to thank for helping me achieve my dream. Granted, I haven’t made a penny (honestly) from the show and can’t even guess how many hours I’ve spent recording, editing, sending emails to potential guests, etc, etc. But all this has been worth it and I wouldn’t have done anything differently. There were times I thought “is this really worth the hassle? Can I be bothered with this? I’m not making anything financially, so what’s the point?”. However, I’d get back into the same thought process as I had as a teen. It was nothing to do with money. It was about doing something I was emotionally invested in. Living a dream and not worrying about the naysayers. Sure, there has been a lot of abuse over the years, especially on social media – but the negativity and hate spurred me on. I’ve always believed that when people stop talking about you – good or bad, is when you’ve become irrelevant.
I know many people who’ve just started podcasts of their own. One person called me “an inspiration”. Hearing something like this is both humbling and quite overwhelming. Whenever someone asks me about the direction of the show and where I’ve taken it since the early days, my immediate response is:
“If I can do it, then so can anyone else. There’s no secret formula behind it. Hard graft, maximum effort and determination, and do whatever it takes to earn and maintain people’s trust and you’ll go somewhere”.
Here are some of the many online stories taken from the Pogba interview. Please feel free to tag anyone you know who works for any of these organisations.