For those who have paid a visit to Jenner Park the home of Barry Town you may have heard the PA man in action on the tannoy. That man is none other than Ryan Cox.
For many of us visiting a football club in Wales it revolves around a few pints in the clubhouse and enjoying the football. But of course at clubs up and down the Welsh pyramid structure there are lots of people assisting, helping, and volunteering for the club they love.
For those who rock up at the ground come 2:30pm on a Saturday, they may be unaware of the preparation that takes place in Ryan’s role. His work as Barry’s PA requires extensive research pre-match.
Its all in the planning, ahead of a game I always prepare during the week. Carrying out research on the opposition by utilising clubs websites or checking the Welsh Football League website and find the team that Barry will be facing and write down the names of the players of the opposition that could potentially play against Barry.
Cox also is issued with the responsibility of reading out the team sheets for both sides as the game prepares to begin. However, in keeping with the times, the club have implemented the use of music in the pre-match build up to keep supporters entertained.
Sometimes I play the music that the Barry Town players would like at their request. Alternatively I get some tunes that my brother has put together onto a CD. We like to have a mixture of tunes so that we don’t play the same music over and over again you can’t beat a good play list.
Despite having held the role for four years now, it wasn’t something that Cox had considered doing before, it was merely something that he fell into.
The tannoy announcing was something that I wasn’t thinking about doing in all honesty until my brother approached me one day and asked if I wanted to do the tannoy on his behalf while he was away for the weekend. I embraced it and took control of the situation and really started to enjoy it.
He has since gone on to cover Cup finals, and even women’s Champions League games as part of the role. However, he is open to the idea of his role evolving in the future into something broader to include radio commentary of the game.
It is something that could potentially happen in the future, I have a friend Rhys Deans who has his own podcast called the ‘Deansy Boy’ show and talks passionately about Barry Town and other things apart from football. I know that Bro Radio 98.1 FM host a sports show every Saturday afternoon and keeps the listeners up to date on what’s happening in the Barry Town matches and I have to say they have done a terrific job as always.
I would not hesitate to have a go should the opportunity come my way.
His club Barry Town United have had a fall from grace, but they’re slowly building themselves back up the league system and now find themselves favourites for Division One title this season. The title is the aim according to Cox.
The main objective for this season is to win the league and if it goes according to plan achieve a domestic licence and get back into the Welsh Premier League and compete with the top teams like TNS, Bangor City.
But whilst in Division One, it is the fixture at Port Talbot Ryan look forward to the most, and he feels there is a special relationship between the clubs.
Both sets of supporters have such a special relationship that started when Port Talbot were supporting us when we were going through dark times a couple of seasons ago and we really do appreciate everything that they have done for us. If there is no game for Barry Town at the weekend I occasionally go and watch Port Talbot play with a few friends of mine to show our support for them.
The next big fixture in Barry’s season is the Nathaniel MG Cup final against TNS. Cox and the Barry supporters are looking ahead to the game.
This is the game that myself and the rest of the Barry Town supporters are eagerly anticipating.There is no reason why we can’t go to the Nathaniel MG Cup Final against the best team in the Welsh Premier League in TNS and cause a major upset.
Whilst the final at Cyncoed Campus will be a rare day off for Cox whilst watching his side, he’ll have many more days at Jenner Park on the tannoy in the near future so get down to Barry to hear the man behind the mic.