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This Football Life
59 minutes | 2 years ago
Daniel Storey: Football's Most Prolific Writer
Today we're joined by award-winning writer and broadcaster Daniel Storey. If you're not already familiar with Daniel, you can read his work weekly on Football365, the i Newspaper, the Irish Examiner and Optus Australia. He's also a regular contributor to the Monday edition of The Totally Football Show podcast. In this episode we'll dive into: his football adventure to Africa and Eastern Europe, his approach to writing articles and columns, his views on the football media in 2019- including the Athletic- and more. You can follow Daniel on Twitter, his twitter handle is @danielstorey85. A special thanks to Kings Place in London for hosting the episode.
50 minutes | 2 years ago
Craig Cope: Recruitment in Non-League Football
Today I'm joined by Head of Analysis and Recruitment for Solihull Moors, Craig Cope. Cope has worked in analysis for several big EFL clubs, notably Notts County, Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City. However, we are going focus on his role as Head of Recruitment. His club, Solihull Moors, are in the National League aka England's 5th division. So I wanted to find out, how do you recruit and identify talent in non-league football and how do you gather data when companies like Opta don't work in non-league? Cope will also answer those questions and reveal how he went from being a university student to leading a professional club's scouting department in less than 7 years. If would like to reach out to Craig and let him know what you thought of this episode, his Twitter handle is @Craig_Cope. Additionally, if you liked this episode or any of the previous ones please tell a friend, family member or colleague as it is the best way to promote the show.
59 minutes | 2 years ago
Joe Carnall: The Evolution of Video Analysis
Today I'm joined by tactical analyst Joe Carnall. Carnall has been a tactical analyst for more than a decade, and has worked for a number of big clubs such as Birmingham City, Sheffield United, Nottingham Forest and Derby. In this episode we track the evolution of the role of video/tactical analyst. We get into what the role really entails and dive into some of the tactical trends that are visible in the game today. I've really been looking forward to having an analyst on podcast because their role is often overlooked. And yet, they have an increasing influence on the sport and within their teams. If you want to reach out to Joe, his twitter handle is @CarnallJoe
45 minutes | 2 years ago
Gary Lewin: Saving John Terry's Life, Head Injuries and Being a Physio in the 1980s
Timeline: 11:02 Preseason in 1980s vs today 14:59 Treating hamstring injuries 19:21 Rushing a player back from injury 27:02 Eduardo injury 33:14 Head injuries in football Today I'm joined by longtime physio Gary Lewin. Lewin was a physio for Arsenal from 1986 until 2008. He was also a physio for the England national team at an astounding 5 World Cups. From 2017-2018 he was Head of Medical Services at West Ham United In this episode we chat about: hamstring injuries, Gary saving John Terry's life, head injuries and being a physio in the 1980s.
54 minutes | 2 years ago
James Witts: Virtual Reality, Nanotechnology and the future of Sports Science in Football
Timeline: 7:42 How EPPP changed sports science 15:50 Hamstring injuries and traffic light systems 25:02 Use of GPS 29:07 Technology and football 31:37 Nanotechnology 36:25 Is the gulf widening between big and small teams in sports science? 41:25 Do players play too much? Today I'm joined by writer James Witts. Witts is the author of the new book Training Secrets of the World's Greatest Footballers: How Science is Transforming the Modern Game which you can buy on Amazon or wherever you get your books. In this episode we'll discuss: how sports science has evolved in the UK, how nanotechnology may be the future of football, do players play too much and more. If you like sports science or performance I recommend you check out the Training Ground Guru podcast which I host and produce with Simon Austin as we also touch on those subjects. If you enjoy the show please leave a review on iTunes, or tell a friend You can also reach out to James, his Twitter handle is @james_witts.
40 minutes | 2 years ago
If you were the head of FIFA, how would you change the game?
Today's show is going to be different from our usual shows. Instead of a long-form interview with a guest, we have 20 guests answering the same question. If you're a long-time listener you'll know I've asked guests, some variation of the following: If you were the head of FIFA, how would you change the game? So in this episode you'll hear players, coaches, journalists, psychologists, an agent and even a photographer answer that very question: if you were the head of FIFA, how would you change the game? Please note, these interviews in some cases are more than a year old so these guys might have different answers today. Before we get to the episode, I'd just like to thank Ram, el Pivote, and everyone else who reached out to me last week and said such nice things about the pod. Also, I'd love your thoughts on the question, so feel free to hit me on twitter, my handle is @ThisFootballLif. We'll be back next week with a normal episode.
58 minutes | 2 years ago
Vic Akers: The Most Decorated Women's Coach in History + Road trips with Bergkamp
Timeline: 10:40 Roadtrips with Dennis Bergkamp 14:00 Away trips for a kit manager 24:00 His role as sports psychologist 29:55 Becoming the women's coach 40:50 Biggest evolution in women's football 46:10 Can women coaches manage men's teams? 53:55 Head of FIFA for a day Today I'm joined by Arsenal legend Vic Akers. For more than 30 years Vic was part of the fabric that made up Arsenal Football Club. It all started when he came to the club in 1985 as a kitman and then the next year started to run their community outreach schemes. In 1987, he founded the women's team. By the time he finished coaching the women's team in 2009 he had won 32 major trophies with the club making him the most decorated women's manager in English and international football history. But that's only half the story. When he wasn't pioneering women's football in England he was the kit manager of the Arsenal men's team. In 1996 he took over the role when Arsene Wenger was hired and it was only fitting they left together last year. So why now that it's women's world cup are we not seeing news packages and lots of stories about Akers? I suspect it's because of Vic's desire to keep a low profile and out of the limelight. As you'll hear in this interview he is extraordinarily humble. If you want to reach out to him, and you really should, his Twitter is @TheRealVicAkers If you like the show, please rate and leave a review on iTunes as it really helps us promote the show. Now, it's time to hear stories of being on the road with Dennis Bergkamp and what it was like to coach women's football in the 1980s and 90s. Enjoy my chat with Arsenal legend, Vic Akers.
54 minutes | 2 years ago
Christoph Biermann: Data Use in UK vs Germany + Breaking down 'Packing' metric
Timeline: 7:40 Chance in football 12:32 The lying of league tables 14:23 'Packing' 22:55 'Packing' in the media 29:13 Data at Dortmund 36:00 Video revolution 44:29 Why clubs are so secretive 50:07 If he were FIFA president for a day Today I'm joined by German football journalist Christoph Biermann. Christoph is the author of the new book Football Hackers: The Science and Art of a Data Revolution which highlights some of the new analytical methods clubs and individuals are using around the world. You can find this book on Amazon or wherever you find your books. And in today's conversation, we'll discuss: - Data use around Europe…including in England vs Germany - 'Packing' and other interesting metrics - Analytics in the media and how 'packing' was covered in Germany - The future of data in football Longtime listeners will remember I had Chris Anderson, author of the Numbers Game, on the podcast last year. I highly recommend you listen to that to supplement this episode if you haven't already, as it describes the history of the data revolution. If you would like hear more episodes or see shownotes of these episodes, then please check out my website, www.thisfootballlife.com.
75 minutes | 2 years ago
Paul McShane: The Irish Gladiator
Timeline 7:11 getting scouted by Manchester United 15:12 Taking notes on his training sessions 18:25 Watching film 22:10 Positional coaches 23:00 Jaap Stam 25:43 Hanging on to the big Manchester United tag 33:16 Thierry Henry handball 38:52 Post-game dressing room against France 53:00 Most underrated defender 1:01:58 His advice to young defenders 1:04:50 Social media in football Today I'm joined by ex-Reading captain and central defender, Paul McShane. Paul is currently looking for a new club but has played for many clubs in the Premier League and Championship most notably Sunderland, Hull City, and Reading. In his 15 year career, he has made more than 400 appearances including 33 appearances for the Irish national team. One of those was that famous World Cup qualifying playoff against France which we talk about in this episode. He was actually defending Henry on that famous handball so he has a really interesting perspective. He also talks about the art of defending, video analysis habits amongst players, social media in football and players who hold onto that Manchester United tag. If you want to reach out to him and let him know what you thought of the interview his Twitter handle is @pmacca15 Finally, if you want more interviews with players, such as his ex-teammates Anssi Jaakkola or Joey Van Den Berg you can see them all on www.ThisFootballLife.com
50 minutes | 2 years ago
Joey Van Den Berg: The Dutch Destroyer
Timeline 7:47 When he tested positive 11:23 Releasing stress for pro athletes 16:40 Advice to young players 23:37 Talking to young players about money 29:15 Playing for Jaap Stam 38:23 Getting dropped to the youth teams 44:22 If he could change football Today we're joined by Reading midfielder Joey Van Den Berg. Joey is currently on loan at NEC Nimegen in the Dutch Second division and has quite the story to tell. In his native Netherlands, he is akin to Sergio Ramos as he has the record for most red cards. He currently has 12 in his career including 2 this season. When Joey was 22 he was released by Heerenveen due to issues with alcohol and drugs and was without a club. While he was out of a game he worked in a pizzeria, he washed cars and worked in construction among his many jobs. Now, a little more than a decade later he's made more than 250 appearances and scored 25 goals in the Dutch Eredivisie and English Championship. So in this episode, we'll dive into his remarkable story and discuss how young players cope with stress, pressure and instincts to be a normal teenager. And if you find youth development interesting, on Thursday, May 2nd the next episode of the Training Ground Guru podcast is coming out. In that episode, Simon Austin and I got an all-access pass to Burnley's academy. You won't want to miss that. If you would like hear more episodes or see shownotes of these episodes, then please check out my website, www.thisfootballlife.com.
58 minutes | 2 years ago
Mark Halsey: Behind the Whistle
We are joined by ex-Premier League referee Mark Halsey. Halsey was a Premier League referee from 1999 to 2013 and was a FIFA listed referee from 2000 til 2006. Among some of the big games he's been involved in…he was the fourth official in the 2002 FA Cup between Arsenal and Chelsea and the head referee in the 2008 League Cup between Tottenham and Chelsea. He also writes a weekly column in The Sun newspaper. But today I really just wanted to go inside the mindset of an official: how do they handle the abuse from players, what is it like make important calls, how does it feel like to make a big mistake. If you want to reach out to Mark, his Twitter handle is @RefereeHalsey. Mark is also an ambassador for the Steve Prescott Foundation, which aims to raise money for cancer research. If you'd like to learn more about that you visit their website https://www.steveprescottfoundation.co.uk/home Also, if you're interested in more behind the scenes football content, with managers and performance coaches check out the new Training Ground Guru podcast. I produce this new monthly show and the first episode featured ex-Stoke manager Gary Rowett.
89 minutes | 2 years ago
Johnny McKinstry Leaving New York For a West African Fishing Village
Timeline: 7:40 Comparing Bangladesh and Sierra Leone 20:15 The logistical problems in African football 26:15 Managing expectations as a coach 34:26 Leaving New York for Sierra Leone 41:58 Lessons from his football 'masters' 48:28 Running an Academy at 23 years old 56:02 Finding the African 'David Silva' 1:04:10 Coaching in a country following a civil war 1:09:30 Football is Football 1:13:32 The most unusual practice in Africa 1:19:40 How he'd change football 1:25:35 Wisdom for young coaches Today I'm joined by Sporting SAIF manager Johnny McKinstry. McKinstry has had a fascinating journey in coaching. He started his coaching career as a teenager in his home country of Northern Ireland before becoming a youth coach at New York Red Bulls. Following a few fruitful years there, he became technical director of Craig Bellamy's Foundation academy in Sierra Leone at the ripe age of 23. After a little over three years there he was appointed the National Team manager of Sierra Leone leading them into the top-50 of the FIFA rankings- he highest ever for the country. He then went on to coach the Rwanda national team, leading them to the quarter-finals in the 2016 Africa Cup of Nations. Next was a brief stint in Lithuania and last November he became the manager of Sporting SAIF which is a club in Bangladesh. He's done all that and he's only 33 years old. In this episode we'll be discuss: -why he left NY Red Bulls to work in Sierra Leone -the difficulty in managing expectations as a coach -why his team in Bangladesh practices at 7 am -the time Yaya Toure played the role of custom's official before a game If you want to reach out to Johnny, his Twitter handle is @johnnymckinstry
65 minutes | 2 years ago
Keith Hackett: Refereeing Over the Last 50 Years
Timeline: 8:52 Verbal Abuse in the 1970s 19:47 Refereeing trends through the decades 24:20 Professionalizing referees 38:05 Why top referees have been leaving England 42:22 VAR 51:58 Offside rule This week we are joined by ex-referee Keith Hackett. Hackett started as a referee all the way back in 1960, although he was just doing local games in his hometown of Sheffield. It wasn't until 1976 that he became a full referee in the old First Division at the tender of 32. Five years later he would officiate the biggest match in England, the FA Cup final between Tottenham and Manchester City. He ended up refereeing in the top flight from 1976 until 1994. The International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) named one of the top 100 referees of all time. In 2004 the PGMOL, Professional Game Match Officials Board, appointed him their general manager, where he stayed for 6 years. In our conversation we discuss: the evolution of refereeing, comparing and contrasting verbal abuse in the 1970s versus today, why top referees are leaving England, and why the Champions League is struggling to implement VAR. If you enjoy the episode tell a friend or someone who may be interested. Also feel free to send Keith a message on Twitter, his handle is @HACKETTREF
70 minutes | 2 years ago
Tommy Johnson: Ins and Outs of Scouting
Timeline: 5:08 Scouting Gary Medel 12:45 Scouting in Spain 21:22 How many times he sees a player before they're signed 28:05 How data has influenced scouting 31:30 Scouting department sizes 38:39 Day in the life of a scout 46:04 Networking 53:31 Defining characteristic for being a scout 59:08 Biggest challenge Our guest is ex-player and current scout Tommy Johnson. Johnson was a famous player representing Notts County, Aston Villa, Derby and Celtic in the 1990s and early 2000s. But today we will be speaking to him exclusively about his time as a scout. He got his break in scouting when he was U-23s coach at Northern Ireland. He then was a European scout at Cardiff, before becoming the Head of Player Recruitment at Blackburn. Most recently he was a senior UK scout at Watford before there was a restructuring at the club and he was let go. In this episode he'll discuss: scouting Gary Medel, how scouting differs amongst various clubs, how data has influenced scouting, the biggest challenges of the job and other insights into what the life of a scout is actually like. Due to the high demand of the work, I will now be doing episodes bi-weekly, therefore every other week. This will ensure that I can spend more time making every episode as good as it can be. I do the show by myself and as of late I feel like I haven't been able to put in as much time as is necessary. So the next episode will come out on March 12th.
58 minutes | 2 years ago
Darrell Clarke: Adapt or Die
Today we are joined by one of the best young English managers in the game, Darrell Clarke. Despite making nearly 500 appearances as a player Clarke is best known as a successful manager at Salisbury City and Bristol Rovers. Since taking over Salisbury City as a player-manager in 2010, Clarke has led his clubs to four different promotions. He did this twice with Salisbury City in non-league football and twice with Bristol Rovers. He has a total record of 189 wins 54 draws and 123 losses, so a very good record indeed, he's done all this before turning 42. He is currently a free agent and I'd be shocked if he doesn't land a job this summer. In our episode Clarke discusses: why he turned down a job at Leeds, his thoughts on the sporting director model, how he manages players, the psyche of a coaching during a relegation fight and what he told his team at halftime of the last game of a promotion challenge. If you enjoy the show please spread the word: text a friend, call your partner, tell a stranger, or write something on social media.
50 minutes | 2 years ago
Paul Armstrong & Guy Mowbray: Behind Match of the Day & Future of Football on TV
Timeline: 7:21 Are the commentators at the game? 12:53 Refereeing decisions on MOTD 21:10 The future of highlights shows 28:50 MOTD Nostalgia 37:30 Female pundits 41:49 How MOTD gets made Our guests today are Steve Wilson, Guy Mowbury and Paul Armstrong. Wilson and Mowbray are some of the finest commentators on television and regularly appear on MOTD. Armstrong was BBC Match of the Day's editor for 14 years. If you enjoy the episode and want to go deep on MOTD I recommend you buy Why Are We Always On Last? which is the autobiography of Paul Armstrong. You can buy Why Are We Always On Last? on Amazon or wherever you get your books. In the episode we discuss: the future of broadcasting & MOTD, how MOTD is made, the 3 pm blackout and a whole lot more. If you're American and wondering what Match of the Day is, it's a show based on highlights and analysis, like Sunday Night Countdown or Baseball Tonight. Except it is 90 minutes and has no commercials. It's an essential part of British football culture and tradition. And as this is the first time having 3 people I mistakenly never asked them to introduce themselves with their voice. The first person you'll hear from is Guy Mowbury. The next voice is Steve Wilson. And the other voice is Paul Armstrong.
61 minutes | 2 years ago
Pep Clotet: Secrets Behind Set Piece Success
Timeline 8:35 Camping at Bayern Munich 19:45 Coaching in Norway 24:58 On getting sacked from Oxford 29:45 Coaching set-pieces 40:50 Emerging trends in football 48:02 Developing young players Today our guest is Birmingham City assistant manager Pep Clotet. Pep is from Catalonia, Spain and has been a coach since 2001. I'll give you a quick overview of his career. He started as a youth team and reserve manager at Espanyol before moving to coach in Sweden and Norway. After that he returned to Spain to manage the reserves at Malaga. He then joined Garry Monk at Swansea and since then he has coached with him at Leeds and now at Birmingham City. In this episode we discuss: how he approaches set-pieces, key performance indicators he looks for on Birmingham City, how English football is resembling Spanish football, why football should switch to 12 players, advice for young coaches, and coaching in Norway. You can reach out to Pep on Twitter, his handle is @Pepclotet.
62 minutes | 2 years ago
Anssi Jaakkola: Inside the Mind of a Goalkeeper
Timeline: 5:30 Finnish football culture in the 1990's 14:58 Moving to Italy 19:00 The mindset of a backup goalkeeper 30:26 The lesson he learnt in Prague 36:21 Italian league versus South African league 43:04 Improving goalkeeping technique 47:52 Scouting opponents Today our guest is Reading FC's starting goalkeeper, Anssi Jaakkola. He's a starter now but most of his 15 year career he was a backup. Being a goalkeeper, especially a back-up goalkeeper, is the most unique position in football in my opinion. In his career he's played in 6 different countries: Finland, Italy, Scotland, the Czech Republic, South Africa and now England. In this episode he'll discuss: the difference in mindset between backup and starter, Finnish football culture, different techniques in goalkeeping, why he almost quit football and what the term 'window' has to do with goalkeeping. This entire interview will be uploaded to the This Football Life so if you want you can check it out there. Also, please feel free to reach out to Anssi about the interview on Twitter, his Twitter handle is @anssi_jaakkola
52 minutes | 2 years ago
Jan Laursen: Football as a Reflection of Society & Instilling the Right Mindset in Young Players
Timeline: 9:58 Building an academy from scratch 20:21 Promoting players quickly through age groups 29:23 Character building in academy players 36:20 Building the right culture or mindset 46:07 Why having a girls academy has been so beneficial for the club Today our guest is FC Nordsjælland Academy Director, Jan Laursen. Laursen is known as employee number one at the club because he's been with them since before they were named FC Nordsjælland and were called Farum BK. He was a semi-professional player with the club then and in the last decade he has been responsible for building up the academy from scratch. In this episode we'll dive into how he built it up, how he instills the right mindset in his players, why his academy is like the worlds best restaurant and why implementing a girls academy has been such a success. If you enjoy the show please spread the word and tell a friend. And if you want to see articles or text versions of this episode and others go onto my website, www.ThisFootballLife.com
44 minutes | 2 years ago
Godsway Donyoh: Living the Dream and Paying it Forward
Timeline 9:10 Leaving home to join the Right to Dream Academy 16:01 Signing for Manchester City 27:16 Contract extension of move to a bigger club? 32:35 Shadowy world of outside influences in football Godsway Donyoh is a 24 year old striker who has scored 31 goals in 119 career appearances. In December he was linked with several clubs in England notably Everton, Bournemouth, and Leicester City. I think you'll see why in this interview. I was impressed with him as any guest I've had on the show which is quite remarkable considering his age and all the guests we've had on the show. In this episode he'll discuss: growing up in Ghana, the difficulty of leaving home and adjusting to being all alone as a teenager in Sweden, the importance of giving back and the selfish nature of some of those involved in African football. If you want to see text versions of this episode or others then please head to my website www.ThisFootballLife.com and if you want to give me feedback email me at email@example.com.
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