top of page

How playing men’s National League helped build a media career in the UK



Five years ago, he was playing men’s National League in New Zealand — now, he’s one of football’s best-known faces on British television.

Liam MacDevitt (28) is a presenter and reporter on the BBC’s Football Focus and Match of the Day (MOTDx) shows.

Main photo: Liam MacDevitt … transitioned from professional football to a media career. Photo credit: LinkedIn.

Before his move into journalism, MacDevitt had a professional football career with Yeovil Town, Bristol City, Stoke City and AFC Bury.

Liam MacDevitt … when he signed for Southern United in 2018.


But in 2018, in a bid to boost his football and media experience, he moved to New Zealand where he signed with Southern United for whom he played in the men’s National League.

At the time, he told English Players Abroad:

“I love it here. I’ve been really lucky to find one of the best dressing rooms I’ve been involved in. There’s a really good atmosphere and culture here that’s slightly different to back home.

“It’s a big change from London, but it’s a beautiful place, and the standard of living here is incredible.”

Off the pitch, he worked for United, helping make video and social media content.

MacDevitt also had a stint playing for Tasman United.

“I loved it there and it helped me again with my experience on the video journalism side of things for when I applied for a 12-month internship at the BBC.”

During his football career, MacDevitt had studied for a BA (Hons) in Sports Journalism at the University of East London.

He told The Voice his plans are to stay working for Football Focus and to develop his own production company, which has received its first commission to make a documentary.

Meanwhile, his experience as a footballer helps create empathy with the top footballers he interviews, and he’s sometimes re-united with those he’s trained with.

One example was former England star Michael Owen, a childhood hero he trained with at Stoke City.

“I interviewed him for Football Focus a few months ago and he was excellent.”



<img loading="lazy" data-lazy-fallback="1" decoding="async" class="wp-image-22380" src="https://i0.wp.com/www.friendsoffootballnz.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Gary-Lineker-Liam-MacDevitt.png?resize=512%2C271&amp;ssl=1" alt="" width="512" height="271" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/www.friendsoffootballnz.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Gary-Lineker-Liam-MacDevitt.png?resize=1024%2C542&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/www.friendsoffootballnz.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Gary-Lineker-Liam-MacDevitt.png?resize=300%2C159&amp;ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/www.friendsoffootballnz.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Gary-Lineker-Liam-MacDevitt.png?resize=768%2C406&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/www.friendsoffootballnz.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Gary-Lineker-Liam-MacDevitt.png?w=1200&amp;ssl=1 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 512px) 100vw, 512px" data-recalc-dims="1"/>

MacDevitt with fellow BBC sports presenter, and former England striker, Gary Lineker. Photo credit: Liam MacDevitt Instagram.



<img loading="lazy" data-lazy-fallback="1" decoding="async" class="wp-image-22379" src="https://i0.wp.com/www.friendsoffootballnz.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Kenny-Daglish-Liam-MacDevitt-Ian-Rush.png?resize=512%2C271&amp;ssl=1" alt="" width="512" height="271" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/www.friendsoffootballnz.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Kenny-Daglish-Liam-MacDevitt-Ian-Rush.png?resize=1024%2C543&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/www.friendsoffootballnz.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Kenny-Daglish-Liam-MacDevitt-Ian-Rush.png?resize=300%2C159&amp;ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/www.friendsoffootballnz.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Kenny-Daglish-Liam-MacDevitt-Ian-Rush.png?resize=768%2C407&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/www.friendsoffootballnz.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Kenny-Daglish-Liam-MacDevitt-Ian-Rush.png?w=1200&amp;ssl=1 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 512px) 100vw, 512px" data-recalc-dims="1"/>

MacDevitt with Liverpool legends Kenny Dalglish (left) and Ian Rush. Credit: Liam MacDevitt Instagram.


A sample of MacDevitt’s work

In May 2023, Liam MacDevitt interviewed Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold about his ‘The After Academy’, a project to help footballers who didn’t make the grade:


More UK players to benefit from spells in New Zealand

John Herdman

John McGinlay

Bev Priestman

Chris Davies

Paul Nevin

0 views