“It’s been a while since I laughed so much” was the first line I heard after leaving A Pint With Si Ferry and Friends, and looking around the stowed out room after the live show, it’s easy to see why Si Ferry and Open Goal have built up such a following. 

Indeed, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a Scottish football fan who hasn’t at one point listened to a Si Ferry interview, either via the podcast or Youtube video that has brought them such success.

Since launching, the Si Ferry Meets series has generated a cult following amongst football thanks, in part, to a host of guests that have ranged from Gordon Strachan, Robbie Savage, Ally McCoist and more.

That success has resulted in the cult following of Paul Slane (Slaney), Kevin Kyle and co along with a number of live shows.

But what has been the secret to their success, and what more can we expect from the series? I caught up with Si Ferry over a pint to ask him just that. 

Q: Hi Si, tonight we’re off to a Pint With Si Ferry and Friends. What was the thought process behind the event tonight?

Si: “It’s been in demand for while, on Twitter and loads of people have been asking us about doing live shows, and the guy at the head of Tennents was really into Open Goal and he came up with the idea to do it in the Tennents Brewery, which was perfect for us for a place to do it and see how it went. 

Q: Tonight is the second one you’ve done, can we expect more of them in the future?

“Yeah, it’ll be the same night again, just having a laugh, talking about football, Slaney being mental, big Kev telling it as it is and we’ve got James McFadden who we’ve interviewed before, really good talker, good laugh, he knows all the boys so should be fun, and good football chat and a good laugh.”

Q: Now let’s rewind a little bit. What made you start at Open Goal? What was the process when you first got approached what made you think it was the right move for you?

Si: “I’ve said before, I was working at the Royal Mail, coached at Celtic and played football but I hated working outside of football because it’s stuff I didn’t know. I delivered kitchens for a bit as well and hated it, and I was s****e at it. When I got a chance to maybe get a job within football again I jumped at it. Went and met the guys and they had a wee idea that I had never seen before so I thought why not.

"And as I have said loads of times as well, they thought big Charlie Mulgrew would be a bad interview because he’s usually a terrible interview, so straight away I knew that Charlie was one of the funniest guys I know so people had that perception of him and I knew I could change that. Not me myself, but Charlie could change, and that’s kinda what’s happened.

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"It’s mad how many people say their perception has changed on somebody after an interview, so, it’s went exactly as I planned.“

Q: How much planning goes into an episode of Open Goal, what’s the planning process like?

Si: “There’s loads, obviously you need to try and get guys to do it first, especially at first when no one really knew who we were. The whole team did really well getting people involved, and fair play to the guys they came on and they made it what it was because it’s very open and some of the stories that we heard have never been heard before and it’s that kind of format. Fair play to the guys that have come on, they’re the one that has kinda made it what it is, and the people that have come on after that have followed suit.

HeraldScotland:

Q: Has the growing reputation helped get people on the show?

Si: Not really, no, I still need to ask people, I don’t think anyone really jumps at you to come and do an interview, you need to kind of graft and be a pest to get them on. We’ve got good people behind the scenes who know a lot of people and a lot of good contacts, so that’s helped as well. William Hill has been great as well they have sponsor days and make it part of the deal that they have to do an interview with us, so they’ve helped massively. 

Q: You’re the face of it, the podcast and the channel, what’s a typical day like for you when you’re filming? 

Si: “So when I interview somebody, I usually try to find a couple of boys that have played with them and I’ll ask if they’ve got any stories about them, what they’re like, stuff like that, and then obviously go on the old internet and check out. The guy who writes all the questions does great with all them, so I kinda just look at the questions add wee bits here and there. And then when the guy comes in just try and make them feel as comfortable as possible straight away. Again, we’ve got a good team that do that with the people that come in and that helps them open up a bit. 

Q: And is it easier to interview people you’ve played with that you’ve grown up with?

A: At first it probably was, but the more I’ve done it now, I quite enjoy doing people that I don’t really know. It gives me a wee challenge to try and get more out them. Anyone that’s got good football stories is great for me. 

Q: Are you surprised at the success you’ve had since starting this off? 

Si: “Course I am. I know Scottish football, there’s not one thing that everybody absolutely loves, some people love Sportscene, some people hate it, but ours so far, fingers crossed seems to have been quite well liked across the board, so I am very surprised but delighted obviously. 

Q: How did it feel to win at the Football Blogging Awards?

Si: “It was great, everyone that was there it seemed like it was the greatest day of their lives when they won, but we were just like, brilliant, went up and Slaney gave probably the funniest speech ever. Everyone went up and was thanking their mums and dads and that, and he goes up and starts singing Blurred Lines, and that just kinda shows you where we are at. Obviously, it’s great to win it but I prefer that people like it than winning awards. 

Q: How far do you think you can take Open Goal? Is it going to focus specifically on Scottish football, are you going to get Tommy Gravesen in and focus on the English Premier League for a bit? What's the next step?

Si: “Tommy Gravesen is the dream Obviously we done John Higgin, a couple of actors on, I think we can go anywhere. Obviously, our fanbase is mostly Scottish, but we’ve done Robbie Savage and he really enjoyed it so if we can break into doing English payers and that, definitely. It’s open to all sorts. 

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Q: With the success of The Terrace and their TV show is that something you could see going into in the future? Or are you wanting to keep the Youtube element and the podcast?

Si: Fair play to them, they got the TV spot, but I think if you look at our numbers, 70,000 downloads a week, and 100,000 on Youtube. Just now we’ve got a 2-year deal with William Hill so we’ll keep going the way it is and whatever happens happens. We’re not going to put things saying we’re going to do this or that, we want people to come to us and if they’ve got good ideas, we’ll take it from there. 

Q: Obviously, I’m not going to ask you to pick your favourite guest, that’s probably impossible, but if you could pick a 5-a-side team from all your interviews in the past, in their prime, who would you pick?

Si: “You’d need to have McCoist upfront, wouldn’t you? I’d need to get Frank McAvennie in, they two upfront, for the night out after it. We’ve only done one goalie, big Rab, Garry O’Connor, you’d need to have him in, Gaz up and down the wing, 20-stone up and down the wing, and last one, Gordon Strachan, just to hear him shout at McCoist and McAvennie. I’d like that. 


A Pint with Si Ferry and Friends was filmed live in the Tennent's Visitor Centre, and you can watch the first live show HERE