Thanks to you….The show goes on

So after many messages, emails and requests for the show to go on, I’ve decided that the world of women’s football is too addictive to walk away from.

The idea was genuinely to finish up and hand over the baton to others. Balancing the work of the show and Twitter feed, along with a full-time job, has been tough.

However, when you get people within the game (I won’t embarrass anyone by naming them) and followers of the show asking you to carry on, it’s hard to ignore.

It has been especially tough since Hamish stepped down, and I have appreciated people like Alicia Ferguson and players within the game stepping in to fill guest presenter roles.

It hasn’t always been easy to get someone in to fill the void, though, which is why episodes have been sporadic of late.

This is why I have decided to re-brand and re-launch the show next month under a new name and new format. The Women’s Football Podcast will come to an end in a couple of weeks, but a new show with a bigger focus on player interviews will launch.

I will use the brilliant network of contributors, such as Sarah in America, Linda in Sweden, and Brian in Germany, to give us regular updates on what is happening in their respective leagues, so you will still be informed of what is going on.

Thanks for the messages and for the continuing interest – name of the new show will be revealed soon.

New show. New name. New start. It’s all about the players.

KT

Almost time to say farewell

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.

KT

 

Captain’s Blog by Gemma Bonner – An eye opening week in many ways

Gemma Bonner

It’s been a busy and eye opening few days since making my second appearance for England last week, with the North West Football Awards taking place and a visit with some of the Liverpool staff to the Linda McCartney Centre.

The game last week against Turkey was definitely a tougher test than the home game as it’s always more challenging going into an environment that is much different to what you’re used to.

We did try and acclimatise and learn about the culture by making a visit to a local mosque, which was certainly an interesting experience and a good opportunity for some time with the team off the pitch.

Obviously the result was the important thing and to come away from the qualifiers this year with a 100% record was vital following the Euros, and from a personal perspective, another clean sheet is also very pleasing.

The Turkey match will be my last game until pre-season begins in the New Year, but my responsibilities with Liverpool will continue throughout the off-season.

Earlier this week I was honoured to be nominated for Best Women’s Player in the North West Football Awards which were held at Old Trafford Cricket Ground, alongside my England team mate Toni Duggan, and her Everton team mate, Nikita Parris. I attended with Becky Easton and SheKicks editor Jen O’Neill.  It was also nice to invite my dad along to the event.

Toni ended up taking the award and I would like to congratulate her for that. She’s had a great year and having faced her a few times last season, I know first hand how good she is.

With North West Men's Player of the Year, Jamie Carragher.

With North West Men’s Player of the Year, Jamie Carragher.

I did get to meet some great people on the night, including former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher. He was a really nice guy and won Best Male Player at the awards. He joked on the night that the one year he wins the award is the year he spent most of the season on the bench. The irony!

The glitz and glamour of awards night is always nice, but as a representative of Liverpool football club, we also have responsibilities to our local community.

Earlier this week I visited the Linda McCartney Centre with the gaffer Matt Beard, Becky Easton and Sophia Riccio.

The centre is part of the Liverpool University Hospital and treats women diagnosed with breast cancer.

With one of the patients at the centre

With one of the patients at the centre

We were shown around the unit and chatted with patients, who were really great and knew about our league title victory. We had the trophy with us, so they were keen to hold it and have their photo taken.

The staff were really friendly and the facilities are excellent, so while it was really difficult to see people so ill, I know that they are in good hands.

The person who showed us around the unit, Sheena Privett, was diagnosed with cancer in January this year, but has a big interest in sport and is now trying to do some fundraising to support the unit.

With Sheena Privett, who has just completed her treatment at the centre.

With Sheena Privett, who has just completed her treatment at the centre.

We’ve given her some signed items and will certainly be supporting her when we can, but for now, I’d really appreciate it if you visited her website www.sportsupportslm.com and showed your support.

Thanks as always for reading.

The Women’s Game looking to develop W-League web series

Media interest in women’s football is growing, but there are a number of dedicated outlets that already exist to try and push the sport, and one of those is a popular outlet down under in Australia, who are looking to go the extra mile.

The Women’s Game (http://thewomensgame.com), Australia’s leading women’s football website (and friends of ours), is hoping to produce a weekly series covering the W-League. To show you what they’re capable of, they’ve produced a pilot episode. Presented by former Australian international, Sarah Walsh (@swalshy9), it’s lively, informative, with a nice light hearted touch attached to it.

The team at The Women’s Game do all their work for free (much like ourselves) with regular day jobs. To make this show happen, they need a little cash to cover the production cost of the 15 week series.

Players from the W-League, Matildas and even the NWSL have donated signed jerseys to help them raise the funds. You can pledge your support here: http://sportaroo.com/TWGTV

Sarah Walsh (left) with The Women's Game team, Danielle Warby (Centre) & Ann Odong (Right)

Sarah Walsh (left) with The Women’s Game team, Danielle Warby (Centre) & Ann Odong (Right)

There’s some rare collectors items on the website, so go and have a look and pledge your support. You can follow The Women’s Game on Twitter at @Thewomensgame.