You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Denan Kemp in action, recording another episode of his podcast.

He has had hundreds of thousands of people watching his interviews with some of Australian sport's most elite athletes yet Denan Kemp's post-football career behind the microphone was first and foremost a pursuit of happiness.

Kemp launched The Locker Room podcast on June 9 with Footy Show personality and former Wests Tiger Beau Ryan and has since featured a who's who of the NRL including Paul Gallen, Jamie Soward, Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson and Sandor Earl.

The content found within the in depth interviews have been picked up by numerous media outlets with Anthony Mundine's proclamation that Johnathan Thurston was like him as a player only "way, way slower" getting national recognition.

Kemp played four seasons in the NRL with Brisbane and the Warriors before switching to rugby union in 2011 and then signing a one-year deal to join the Dragons in 2012 followed by another 12-month stint at the Broncos in 2013.

He failed to play a single NRL game in those final two seasons and when he retired at the end of 2013 began an electrical apprenticeship, leaving at 4am each morning to drive from Wollongong to Marulan near Goulburn to work in a mine.

On those three-hour round trips the concept of The Locker Room continued to bubble along in his head and he said finally committing to it dragged him out of a dark period in his life.

"I was doing my apprenticeship but I just wasn't happy," Kemp told

"After footy I needed something that was going to push my limits and give me a purpose each morning.

"Every player struggles after retiring and I was really, really struggling mentally, really badly, like I was just floating and the only purpose that I was put on this earth was to be a sports player.

"I've struggled with the idea of work, waking up, working for a company and working your life away, and I struggle with that concept.

"I feel like you're wasting your life whereas when I'm doing the show and interviewing guys it doesn't feel like work.

"It was a bad time in my life. My health wasn't great, my confidence was down and I was in a rut but I felt very nervous about telling anyone about it because it's hard to talk to people about your dreams and aspirations."

Through former Dragons teammate Dan Hunt the now 28-year-old was introduced to Beau Ryan and the pair hit it off, becoming good friends.

With his exposure to the media Ryan became an important sounding board for Kemp's ideas and aspirations and made himself available to be the first guest on a show that didn't even exist.

"The moment was Beau Ryan calling and saying he was happy to drop by," says Kemp, who scored 19 tries for Brisbane in the 2008 season in a career of 22 tries in 42 career games.

"He was busy as. Him coming on was actually ridiculous. He literally had a spare 30 minutes and you could tell that he was buggered but he went out of his way to help me out.

"I can't express enough how much he really did do for me in that moment.

"Without Beau Ryan I don't even know if the show would be running right now. If he didn't come on the show then I would have continued to procrastinate and whatever opportunity I might have missed... You never know. It was his goodwill that kick-started the whole show."

The latest instalment of The Locker Room is an interview with former Raider, Dragon and Bronco Daniel Vidot and Kemp is excited about other future episodes featuring the likes of James Segeyaro and Josh Mansour.

Each episode is completely reliant on trust between Kemp and his guests and he said that the support of the rugby league community has gone beyond anything he could have possibly imagined.

"I can't express enough the amount of help I've been given from all the players," Kemp said.

"I feel terrible because I didn't appreciate the rugby league community when I was playing. I didn't think it was anything unique and that it was just a cliche, that any profession all sticks together. I thought it was a throwaway line.

"James Segeyaro, I'd never even met him and I messaged him on Facebook and within a few days we were sitting down in front of each other having a chat. How good of a bloke is that?

"I asked myself, Would I have even done that? That's how good these guys have been."

You can view episodes of The Locker Room through Facebook or on YouTube.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners