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  • Matty Jackson

Podcast Series 1- How it was made

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Hi guys, Welcome back to the Academy North blog, Matty here, and as always, we hope you’re all well and concentrating on work more than I am with the IPL on in the background.

Firstly, a little update on where we are currently. We have 2 October half term camps running in Liverpool & Birkenhead, we still have very limited places available for the end of the week. Our 1:1, small group & district training in Liverpool has got off to a great start, and we have been completely fully booked in the early weeks. Due to high demand we have added more times, although availability is still limited. We are very excited to be imminently starting our new programmes in Southport & Birkenhead. Busy but exciting times! Now onto the podcast….

When lockdown hit in March and we couldn’t get out and coach, and do our usual tasks, we thought, as I’m sure many others did, what do we do now?

It was then we thought, what about a podcast? Myself & Steve had a phone chat one afternoon, and figured we might just know enough people in the professional game to maybe record a podcast or 2 and get some insight from those players we knew. That was the plan anyway…. a podcast or 2.

We thought as long as we had something to put on social media every couple of weeks, stay engaged during the lockdown and keep ourselves off too much Football Manager, we would be happy, never in our wildest dreams did we expect 38 podcasts.

We then spoke to Phill, our partner in Academy North, who as always did his best to put a positive spin on things, but has since admitted what we knew at the time, that he didn’t think we would get much traction with it but off we went anyway.

Steve went straight to Steven Mullaney, I went to Luke Sutton both of whom we know personally and it was a good start as both agreed to join us. That night we also decided to cold message a few players on Instagram, and when the first replies we got back were from 2 former England captains in Adam Hollioake & Michael Vaughan we thought we might be onto something.

After a ropy few days figuring out the technology and the best way to do it (we’re sure we still haven’t got that) the recording began. Things went as well as we could have hoped early doors, aside from it taking us a while to get going with Adam Hollioake due to us laughing too much as we chatted with him & his Philippino house guest/musician on the Gold Coast in Australia.

With myself & Steve pretty much still trying to figure out what was going on, we really kicked off with thanks completely to Steve Mullaney. We think Mull text not just his own phonebook but nicked half the County Championships phones too, to see who’d come and join us for a chat. Over the course of one weekend we were on the phone to each non stop as Mull sent over more & more names numbers- leaving me and Ste to fight it out over who contacted who. One of the more bizarre messages I’ve ever got off Ste has to be “if I text Michael Vaughan, you can have Dom Bess & Dave Hussey!”

Once Mull had sent over the names and numbers of pretty much everybody, we realised how small a world cricket actually is whatever the level you play, and so started to utilise our own contacts to get in touch with players. That bore fruit too with positive replies from Tom Westley (we think just so he could abuse everybody else), Danni Wyatt, Warren Hegg, Liam Livingstone & many more.

Our third prong of attack was to then ask the players who’d been on if they thought they’d have any friends who’d be interest and again this somehow paid off. We managed to pull it off thanks to our own enthusiasm + the help of some very kind people in the cricket world, not only giving us their time but nagging others to do the same. We must have annoyed some players with our persistence but it worked and our friend & fellow coach Finn couldn’t have described the outcome any better:

the podcast consists of two scouse blokes getting week in the knees talking to pros and ex pros about their best XI they’ve played with”

We’ve been asked so many times what our favourite podcast to record was, and I can honestly say it is an impossible question. Everyone had a different insight into the game, has played with different players, and had different stories and experiences. Also, how do you really compare a former England coach discussing managing players against Luke Fletcher talking about Samit Patel in a rubber dinghy.

However, a few things became clear whilst recording the podcast to us:

- All cricketers watch Ozark, Sunderland ‘til I die & Tiger King

- A night out with Brendan Taylor would be fun

- We could listen to Peter Moores talk cricket all day

- Everybody has a favourite Luke Fletcher story

- Each podcast had at least one unique piece of advice for players of any age

- Me & Steve can argue with anybody about football. (Haseeb Hameed, Ryan Sidebottom, Niall O’Brien, Jake Ball & Phil Salt will testify.)

- We wouldn’t to be on the receiving end of abuse from Tom Westley or Chris Nash

- There are some very good people on the county circuit, willing to help some strangers out!

If you haven’t had a listen check out “Academy North: From Behind the Lockdown” at:


- Apple

- Spotify

And keep your eyes peeled on our social media for Season 2!


- 38 guests

- 6 nationalities

- 3 World Cup winners

- 22 international players/coaches

- 14 T20 franchise stars

- 1,344 International appearances

- 12,885 Career appearances

- 3 Newspaper columns

- 2 Dancing on Ice contestants

- 1 Strictly Come Dancing contestant

- 1 pint thrown at Jimmy Anderson


a huge thank you to:

- Luke Sutton

Lancashire & Derbyshire

- Adam Hollioake

Surrey, Essex & England

- Steve Mullaney

Lancashire & Nottinghamshire

- Jade Dernbach

Surrey, Melbourne Stars, Quetta Gladiators & England

- Luke Fletcher


- Joe Denly

Kent, Middlesex, Dhaka Dynamites, Karachi Kings, Sydney Sixers, Kolkata Knight Riders & England

- Harry Gurney

Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Melbourne Renegades, Quetta Gladiators, Kolkata Knight Riders, Barbados Tridents & England

- Michael Vaughan

England Ashes winning captain, 2005.

- Ben Duckett

Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Islamabad United & England

- Danni Wyatt

Nottinghamshire, Sussex, Lancashire Thunder, Southern Vipers, Melbourne Renegades & England

- Haseeb Hameed

Lancashire, Nottinghamshire & England

- Peter Moores

Worcestershire & Sussex (player.) Sussex, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire & England (coach)

- John Simpson

Lancashire & Middlesex

- David Hussey

Victoria, Nottinghamshire, Melbourne Stars, Antigua Hawksbills, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab, Chennai Super Kings & Australia

- Warren Hegg

Lancashire & England

- Dom Bess

Somerset, Yorkshire & England

- Joe Clarke

Worcestershire & Nottinghamshire

- Nick Hoult

Daily Telegraph Chief Cricket Correspondent

- Luke Wells


- Liam Livingstone

Lancashire, Karachi Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Perth Scorchers, Peshawar Zalmi & England

- Chris Nash

Sussex & Nottinghamshire

- Monty Panesar

Northamptonshire, Sussex, Essex & England.

- Paul Franks

Nottinghamshire & England

- Tom Westley

Essex & England

- Steven Croft


- Niall O’Brien

Kent, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Khulna Royal Bengals & Ireland

- Mick Newell

Nottinghamshire (player, coach, director of cricket) & England (selector)

- Phil Salt

Sussex, Lahore Qalanders, Islamabad United, Barbados Tridents & Adelaide Strikers

- Brendan Taylor

Nottinghamshire, Mashonaland, Mid West Rhinos, Chittagong Kings, Khulna Titans, Lahore Qalanders, Sunrisers Hyderabad & Zimbabwe

- Heino Kuhn

Kent, Titans, Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, Dhaka Dynamites & South Africa

- Karl Brown


- Olly Stone

Northamptonshire, Warwickshire & England

- Tammy Beaumont

Kent, Surrey Stars, Adelaide Strikers & England

- Jake Ball

Nottinghamshire & England

- Tim Ludeman

South Australia, Adelaide Strikers & Melbourne Renegades

- Ryan Sidebottom

Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire & England

- Ian Butler

Northern Districts, Otago, Gloucestershire, Kent, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire & New Zealand

- Tom Moores

Lancashire, Nottinghamshire & Multan Sultans

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