The last few years have seen alternative football media burgeoning for football fans as blogs, fan sites, & podcasts have allowed supporters to get fresh analysis & insight about their favorite teams. For many Rangers fans – blogs like The Copland Road, FollowFollow.com, The Rangers Standard, & Ibrox Noise have become the first place Rangers fans go to for their news & analysis bypassing the previous norm of going to the Scottish mainstream media for information.
This season has seen a new podcast emerge – The Aye Ready Podcast. In its inaugural season the podcast has quickly established itself as a quality soundboard for the views of regular Rangers supporters. The Aye Ready team – Derek & Dave – host a show by Rangers fans, for Rangers fans. The pod is more akin to the Heart & Hand podcast as the hosts intertwine a natural sense of humor into their talk about the club they love. Like all fans, the Aye Ready team likes to get nostalgic for glorious days of old & their accounts of great Rangers victories from the past will have you running to the YouTube with a giddiness usually saved for the holidays.
After having Derek write a guest post on Rangers Five Year Plan – I figured it was time to give Dave a sounding board – to discuss the podcast, the season so far for Rangers & the team’s prospects going forward.
When did you & Derek start the Aye Ready Podcast? What motivated you guys to dedicate the time & energy needed for the pod? Are you having fun with it?
We started the pod at the start of the season. We are big fans of the other podcasts out there and with Derek’s expertise in editing we thought we would try a “practice pod” and had great fun recording it, so we thought let’s do another and see how we are perceived. We got some good reviews on a Twitter, it gave us great motivation to record more. We are having a good laugh recording it. We have always said we would do a “pished” pod but it has never happened. YET!
What distinguishes your show from the other Rangers podcasts is the genuine feeling that you are two supporters talking about the club you love. Each week the show evolves like two fans discussing their club over a pint – with the talk getting more nostalgic as the drinking continues. How did you decide to differentiate your show from the others?
We listen to all of the other podcasts out there and each one is different but what we realized quickly was that each one had guys on there who either write blogs or are affiliated with a supporters group. We thought it would be good to let two “ordinary” fans just talk about their team without any real objectives. I think our listeners connect with that and hopefully they feel that it is just like listening to their mates talk about football.
The show is still relatively new – are you seeing an increase in your audience? What are some goals you have with the pod?
Sadly no, we started off with a large audience and were hopeful that our listeners would grow but as we think that both ourselves and the pod is sounding better every week we are only averaging a few hundred listeners each time. This is still great that people are downloading and listening to us but we would love more and would love to interact with the listeners more than we do, that is why we are always open to people contacting us with any ideas.
Do you listen to the other Rangers podcasts? In other words, what do you think of your competition?
I am a huge fan of Heart and Hand, I think the lads there are brilliant, both hilarious and still manage to get their point across. I also download the CRO from time to time, which is more of a panel type of recording as they usually have four or more people on at the one time, this can be excellent listening but also difficult when so many people are trying to get their point across but those guys manage that somehow. Also both podcasts have guys who are more involved with supporters groups, therefore have many more listeners than us (including us) but I don’t see them as competition at all. I see us as being an just another point of view and a good chance to reminisce great times.
So much of your show is about nostalgia — what Rangers season truly sticks out distinctly from your childhood? What players were your favorite growing up? What era of Rangers teams is your favorite?
My first season ticket was back in 1993, so I have seen great players such as Laudrup, Gascoigne, McCoist, Hately, Gough, DeBoer and countless other greats. I must say that I loved the Advocatt era. We had a feeling of invincibility about us. Especially our midfield of Ferguson, Van Bronkhorst, Albertz and Reyna. Just a pity we did not go further in Europe as we had the players to do so. But my all time favourite player is without a doubt the man I call god, Brian Laudrup. No one comes close in my opinion.
How are you feeling about the Scottish Cup semi-final showdown with Dundee United? Do Rangers have a chance of winning the match? Why, why not?
Just watched the Albion Rovers replay and thankfully we won. I am hopeful we can raise our game as this will be a real test. Dundee United will be up for this and we have to make sure that every one of our players knows how important this match is. On our last few performances I don’t think we will win, but I hope beyond hope that we will actually show up and our big name players will shine against better opposition. Who knows? A win would be absolutely incredible.
Now that the league is won — which players do you want to see more of in the lineup & which ones have you seen enough of?
Being brutally honest there are not a lot of players who have shown their true potential this season. Bell, Moshni, Templeton, Aird and MacLeod have been the stand out players and big Jon Daly has scored a lot of goals for us but the rest of the squad have been disappointing, so take from that what you will.
What changes would you like Rangers to make next season in the Scottish Championship? Do you think the current squad is good enough to win promotion?
If we strengthened our defence and brought in someone to be able to change our attacking options up front then I think we should win the majority of our matches. Again hopefully playing better standard of teams will bring out better performances from our players.
Give the podcast a listen — it is a refreshing & entertaining show that truly gives Rangers supporters a lot to think about & a great chance to reminisce on the history of the club.