After 18 months, around 80 players, staff and experts interviewed, and 36 shows recorded, the Women’s Football Podcast will record its last show at the end of September. Why I hear some ask, who cares I hear others mumble? Well, I care, and it is for that reason that I started the show in the first place.
I took an interest in women’s football in 2009 after meeting and interviewing Kelly Smith as part of my day job. To this day, Kelly remains a friend of mine, but more importantly, someone who I have huge respect for due to her standing in the women’s game as one of the greats.
My thinking after that was, how can I take more of an interest, and while at the time I had never heard of She Kicks Magazine or Fair Game, as it used to be known, I just couldn’t really find anywhere to follow it.
So, a few blogs and some useful contacts later, alongside my pal Hamish Dufton, we started the Women’s Football Podcast last year. We wanted it to be a professional, but light hearted outlet for people to access information on the women’s game, putting our journalism qualifications to good use.
Looking back, I think we did OK in fairness, but this is 100 per cent down to those who appeared on the show and to the listeners. Without them, we wouldn’t have carried on, genuinely. It wasn’t about us, but was about promoting the game.
I can tell you now that in 18 months, Hamish and I made zero money from the venture, and with trips to Sweden, France and the USA coming out of our, well my (Kieran’s) pocket, a lot of money was spent.
Do I care about the money? Not at all, because along the way I got to meet some incredible people in the women’s game, and it wouldn’t be fair to pick out individuals. I can honestly say that of all the people we interviewed, I liked all of them. None of them were arrogant or difficult to deal with, and what impressed me most, is that they just love playing football/soccer.
So why are you quitting? Well, time is a factor of course, but actually, I just don’t think the show is something people want. We have almost four and a half thousand followers on Twitter, and the stats don’t lie – a quarter of that number listens to the show – sometimes more, sometimes less.
The players who appear on the show, for me, deserve more than that, and I don’t want to ask for their time, when numbers don’t meet what we were hoping for.
It has been a pleasure, it really has, but it hasn’t always been easy.
I will say this, women’s football is always crying out for more coverage, but with the experiences I’ve had, it needs to help itself. Unanswered emails and promised call-backs never received make the job all the more difficult – if I was encountering these issues, I’ve no doubt other journalists are too.
I’ll of course stay involved with women’s football because it has become a drug – a bit of an addiction that is hard to switch off from. I might write a bit here and there, but more importantly, I’ll continue to follow as a supporter of the game (Undecided what to do about the Twitter account at the moment).
Big thanks to those who listened to a show or read a blog or who just made a positive comment on social media, but most of all, thanks to the players and staff who made the show what it was.
There are some brilliant outlets out there covering the game – make sure you give them, and the players, the support they deserve.