Fans of Dundalk FC who love to consume content on the club can now avail of a new podcast from Dundalk Fan TV.
The first two episodes featuring goalkeeper Gary Rogers and League of Ireland pundit Johnny Ward have proved enjoyable. Perhaps the biggest surprise for those tuning in, however, has been the profile of the presenter.
Patric Scannell, who is behind the YouTube channel and Twitter feed of Dundalk Fan TV, is knowledgeable beyond his years at just 12-years-old.
Another surprise is that Patric, whose father Donal recently produced the David Gray documentary White Ladder on RTÉ, is from Kimmage in Dublin rather than anywhere near the Carrick Road and Oriel Park.
He revealed how a chance encounter with the Dundalk squad in Dublin Airport while they were travelling to Belarus to face BATE Borisov in 2016 started off what has become a real passion in the fifth class student’s life.
“That’s basically where it started,” he said of the airport meeting with Sean Gannon, David McMillan and Daryl Horgan.
“I was following the club a little bit previously. I had just started to get into the League of Ireland and I wasn’t sure which club I was going to support. I looked at Pat’s and Rovers but then I bumped into the Dundalk team completely by accident in the airport while we were going on a family holiday to Spain and there and then I knew I was going to become a Dundalk fan,” said Patric.
While just eight years old at the time, Patric’s interest only grew from there with his first game coming the following month when he attended the Champions League play-off tie against Legia Warsaw in the Aviva.
“When I met the team they were en route to Belarus for the BATE game. I was in Spain then for the two weeks so I missed the home game against BATE but I watched it in Spain and it was spectacular.
“Then my first game was the Legia Warsaw game in the Aviva Stadium.
“I went to a few more games around Dublin then after that including the Cup final but my first trip to Oriel was the following season against Shamrock Rovers.”
In the period in between Patric has met the squad on several occasions, including his favourite players, Gannon and Jordan Flores.
“I like Seán Gannon obviously because he was one of the reasons I started supporting the club and I really like Jordan Flores as well this season,” he said.
“I have to be honest I had a few doubts about him but any of those have been extinguished. He has just been incredible and he’s really nice as well. I’ve met him a few times now.
“I’ve met all of them at this stage. Before the Riga game last summer I arrived really early about two hours before kick-off so I got invited up to the players’ lounge. I spent about half an hour in there and then went to watch the game.
“Dad was saying if I supported a team in Dublin then we could become season ticket holders but I just said no way,” he laughed.
Any chance of a change of allegiance looks most unlikely now given how popular Dundalk Fan TV has proved to be.
Explaining its origins, he said: “I started first of all on YouTube just making quick news updates. That was July last year.
“It was based off a Twitter page called LOI Transfers and no one was really doing transfer news on YouTube so I thought I could bring it to a new place. I started off just talking about the week’s transfer rumours and it just kind of went from there.
“I have a website made too and I write the odd article on that. It’s at dundalkfantv.wordpress.com.
“This season was supposed to be when Dundalk Fan TV really expanded. I had wanted to do fan interviews, post match stuff and match day videos etc so it’s disappointing that I haven’t been able to do that but hopefully it can work later this year still.”
While not from the area, Patric’s passion has already rubbed off on at least one friend who has started to support Dundalk too as a result of his interest. Now he wants to get chatting to more and more Dundalk fans.
“I just want to get it out to as many Dundalk fans as possible so that it can be a voice for them.
“The League of Ireland doesn’t really have that. I know there has been Irish Football Fan TV and things like that but there’s not like the Red Men TV that Liverpool have or Arsenal Fan TV.
“Hopefully this will be something that the whole fanbase can get behind and be a place where they can voice their opinions on the team and the club.”
So what’s next for Patric and the Dundalk Fan TV podcast?
“I’m going to try and get Stephen Kenny which would be a big one but if that doesn’t work I’m going to try and get John Gill because he has obviously had a very interesting story.
“I’d like to get 10 or 15 episodes done this year and see where it goes from that.”
While Patric’s personal memories of the club might not stretch back much further than 2016, he also revealed he has been studying up on the club’s history during the recent lockdown.
“I love the history of the club and watching and reading about the greats.
“I have Jim Murphy’s book and I’ve been reading that and it has been great.”
So which players from the past would he have loved to see?
“Jimmy Hasty,” he says, without a thought.
“I think he was really inspiring with the one arm and using the stump to hold off the opposition. That was incredible. Most people would be written off from a footballing point of view if they lost their arm but he just used it to his advantage.
“A few other players I would have loved to see play include Jimmy Dainty, Martin Lawlor and Barry Kehoe. Hopefully there is a legends match soon so that all the legends that are still alive can get back together.”
There might be plenty of talent on the pitch at Oriel Park but Patric’s poise and knowledge of the game shows huge potential too.
He might be only starting out but this youngster could have a big career in media ahead of him based on his early efforts.
You can follow Patric’s work by searching for Dundalk Fan TV on social media or by logging onto dundalkfantv.wordpress.com