Grabbing sports news by the balls

Wollongbar’s Christian Layland making a podcast for The Football Sack at SCU’s radio studio.
Wollongbar’s Christian Layland making a podcast for The Football Sack at SCU’s radio studio.

A blog that was started by two football (soccer) mad fans has been nominated as a finalist in four categories in the FFDU (Footy Fans Down Under) Australian Football Supporters Awards.

Founder and chief of staff of The Football Sack, Christian Layland, is studying Business and Sports Management at Southern Cross University and said he was thrilled to be nominated as ‘Blogger of the Year’ against Mr Football himself, Les Murray.

“To be honest, I’m still shocked. Initially I was honoured simply to be nominated in the early rounds, but when the finalists were announced and I saw my name next to Les I was speechless. I’ve been receiving emails, Facebook posts and text messages offering congratulations for the past few days now, and it gives you a bit of a buzz knowing there are people out there who consider you in that calibre of writers,” he said.

The Football Sack has also been nominated for Football Website of the Year, Best Use of Social Media and Podcast of the Year. In the past 12 months it has grown to incorporate 25 volunteer staff all over Australia including writers, cartoonists and people doing live text commentary of A-League games and other matches.

Christian said their live texting was proving incredibly popular and Craig Foster even praised them for it on SBS’s The World Game.

The Football Sack is fast establishing itself as a player in the field of sports journalism, and loving every moment of it. Their A-League podcasts, which were recorded in SCU’s radio studio, were the number one sports podcast on iTunes last year and although they are all amateurs who are doing it for the love of it, they are up against professional sports journos from The World Game, Fox Sports and Four Four Two.

Christian said it all started as a bit of fun by him and his friend Matt Greenlaw and they soon got featured on the Sydney FC website.

In order to expand it they wrote to universities with journalism courses in all of the cities that had an A-League team and recruited third year students who wanted to get some hands-on experience. They now have media accreditation with Football Federation Australia and are official media partners of Football Federation Victoria.

Christian said the highlights of his short career (so far) have been interviewing ex-Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke and talking to Brisbane Roar skipper Matt McKay underneath Suncorp Stadium minutes after holding aloft the A-League Champions trophy.

The site is attracting around 15-20,000 readers per month and has 2000 followers on Twitter. Check them out at www.thefootballsack.com.



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