The Mayo News football podcast has been an integral part of the summer story of Mayo GAA for years – this year it’s a decade in existence – though my own involvement with it is more recent. Since 2016, however, the podcast and the blog have been pretty much inseparable partners and the podcast has even got its own tab on the blog (here) where you can easily access the back catalogue of episodes.
Over the last two years, we’ve maintained a consistent output on the podcast, with forty separate episodes released in both 2017 and 2018. The podcast now rests on three solid pillars – League, Championship and Club Championships – which means that output of one kind or another is made available pretty much right throughout the year.
Already this year we’ve got 13 episodes in the bag and we’re about to launch ourselves into another summer of podcast activity as the 2019 Championship campaign gets underway. Ahead of this, it’s worthwhile to give everyone a heads-up on what to expect.
First, you can, with justification, anticipate that we’ll be following the action as it unfolds game by game. In 2017 this meant all the way to the All-Ireland final, last year it was only to Round 3 of the qualifiers. But as long as Mayo are in it, the podcast will be there too.
That includes the county’s Championship opener the weekend after next over in New York. I’m confined to barracks myself due to other commitments here that weekend but Rob Murphy and Mike Finnerty will both be taking to the skies next week and will be at Gaelic Park on Sunday week, from where a match-day episode USA-style will be recorded.
The match-day episode will, though, be but one of four separate podcast episodes planned in and around the New York trip. Our summer season on the podcast gets going this coming Monday, when our New York scene set episode goes online. Front and centre in this episode will be James Horan, with whom Mike caught up at the Connacht Championship launch earlier in the week.
Then on Tuesday we’re doing something completely different. Buoyed by the hugely positive reaction we got to the 2017 All-Ireland preview night at the Oxford Arms over in London, we’ve talked at length amongst ourselves since then about how we might take the podcast into the very different realm of a live event.
We’ve now decided to dip our toes in that particular water. We’re doing this next Tuesday night, 30th April, with a live event that’ll take place deep in the heart of North Mayo.
For next week’s event the podcast is teaming up with Gaelcholáiste Chomáin in Rossport, in conjunction with their Sports Broadcasting Traineeship Programme. As you can imagine, there’ll be plenty of Mayo GAA chat on the night and, along with Rob, Mike and myself, a few special guests will be there for it. It’s open to the public so if you’re in the area and you fancy dropping by for it you’re more than welcome. Throw-in is 8pm.
As an added twist, the event will also be streamed live via Facebook. I’ll have a link to it here on the site that evening, so wherever you are then you’ll be able to watch the event as it happens.
So, then, these are exciting times for the podcast. We’re also on the cusp of announcing a new sponsorship deal for the podcast for the Championship series, one that will greatly help us to sustain what we’re doing. Stay tuned for further news on that.
Listenership of the podcast continues to grow all the while but we know there’s still an enormous untapped audience out there, many of whom have no idea how to tune in. Oftentimes we’re asked if there’s any help or support that could be given in our endeavours: well, here’s your opportunity.
If you know anyone who you think would value getting acquainted with the podcast but might need a little help in doing so, then please show them how they can access it. If you yourself need help, then don’t be shy – say so in the comments or drop me a mail and I’ll be back to you on it. As Andy says, we’re all in this together.
The Mayo News football podcast is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, Podomatic and Spotify. Episodes are posted here on the blog and the podcast may also be accessed directly on the Mayo News website.