Dulcet tones familiar to sporting enthusiasts nationally, Athlone native, Adrian Barry, continues to make waves within the broadcasting sphere in his role as a main anchor on the perennially popular Off The Ball media platform.
An integral member of the sporting broadcast platform since 2013, which comprises a daily radio show, podcast network and web-based live digital broadcast, Off The Ball is primarily a sports news review, opinion and analysis show which continues to grow in popularity, the most recent JNLR figures confirming such a statistic.
Adrian, a former student of the Marist College, has a wealth of experience within the journalism industry having studied Communications in the University of Glamorgan in South Wales.
"Having initially worked with Midlands 103 on a mid morning magazine show, I was afforded the opportunity to return to the radio station as sports editor following a year long sojourn in Australia. The role incorporated the production and presenting, each weekend, of a live radio broadcast and allowed for great grounding within what was a pressurised environment," Adrian recalled.
Taking time to travel, Adrian departed for a two year stint in New Zealand in 2002. Upon his return he was offered a role at FM104 which enabled him to further develop his journalism career.
"It was initially a part time role which afforded me great exposure to sporting occasions on a national level. I had the opportunity to attend and report on Irish international rugby and soccer press conferences, which was broadcasting on a different level to what I had experienced previously. In this particular journalism environment, you quickly learn to adapt to your immediate surroundings and the knowledge you attain is vast," Adrian remarked.
Having experienced an entrepreneurial environment which Adrian described as "the right idea, but at the wrong time" (as the economy crashed ), the Mount Merrion resident returned to the broadcasting airwaves with 98FM.
"With parents who were proprietors of Clonbrusk Stores during my childhood, there was always a personal inclination to test the entrepreneurial environment. Working with top end brands, my aim was to provide free content to broadcasting media, but unfortunately the timing coincided with the economic downturn.
"Luckily, I was afforded the opportunity to return to the radio airwaves when the late Johnny Lyons offered me a position with 98FM. Dublin centric, the role provided vast opportunities working at numerous national and international sporting events. It also provided a regular salary, which at that particular moment in time was essential," Adrian commented.
An enhanced wealth of broadcasting experience now attained over a five year period, Adrian departed 98FM for pastures new and worked with Setanta Sports during which time he met fellow Off The Ball anchor, Ger Gilroy.
"Following our respective departures from Setanta Sports, Ger approached me with regard to a role with Off The Ball in 2013 and the opportunity to go 'all in' with regard to working solely in a sports broadcasting environment was to good an opportunity to refuse.”
With the Off The Ball fanbase continuing to escalate, in his capacity as Operations Director, Adrian commissioned research to ascertain public feel for a live web-based digital broadcast presence. The results were encouraging and in October 2017 Off The Ball AM was launched, a broadcast which Adrian regularly presents on a week to week basis.
A sports news review and discussion show, Off The Ball AM is available on various media platforms including YouTube, Facebook and Periscope, extending the means in which fans of the daily production can view the popular show.
"The 'secret sauce' of Off The Ball presenters is our ability to listen to our interviewees and not interject unnecessarily mid conversation flow. One fascinating interview with former Ireland international, Kenny Cunningham, in which we discussed his career in length, veered towards the topic of memorabilia he would have accumulated during his playing days.
"He spoke of the memorabilia sitting in a black bag in his loft at home and then detailed the regrets he had following the conclusion of his playing career. That was an interview piece which stands out as Kenny was so honest and I was not expecting our conversation to go in such a direction," Adrian noted.
Constantly trying to evolve within the sports broadcast medium, Adrian continuously strives to maintain an enhanced output of quality sports content, a mantra which is to the fore amongst his Off The Ball broadcast peers.
Fulfilling a role he no doubt relishes, Adrian aspires to enhance his broadcasting career within the sporting realm - with experienced honed to date and a firm knowledge of what is required to appease the vast sporting audience, this Athlone native is on the crest of a broadcasting wave!