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This Football Life

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Welcome to This Football Life, the show that gives you intimate, in-depth interviews with football's most interesting players, coaches, backroom staff and executives. Walk a mile in their shoes and see the game through their eyes.

Welcome to This Football Life, the show that gives you intimate, in-depth interviews with football's most interesting players, coaches, backroom staff and executives. Walk a mile in their shoes and see the game through their eyes.
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Welcome to This Football Life, the show that gives you intimate, in-depth interviews with football's most interesting players, coaches, backroom staff and executives. Walk a mile in their shoes and see the game through their eyes.




Mads Davidsen: The Dane Thriving in China

My guest this episode is technical director of Shanghai SIPG FC Mads Davidsen. Before being the technical director at Shanghai SIPG, Davidsen was the team's reserve and U23 team coach and head of Recruitment. Previously he was an assistant under legendary coach Sven Goran Ericksson at Guangzhou R&F Football Club. He also coached the U-19 team at Brondby IF, one of the biggest clubs in Denmark. And this past year he co-authored the book "When talent committed" which came out in May, however...


Ian Baraclough- Leicester's Journeyman

We are joined by Northern Ireland U-21 manager, Ian Baraclough. Baraclough had a long career as a player making more than 600 appearances in 20 years for many teams. He then went into the world of coaching and has since managed Scunthorpe, Sligo Rovers in Ireland, Motherwell, and Oldham before his current job with Northern Ireland. In this episode we'll get into the precarious nature of being a manager- he was fired weeks after winning a trophy-, football in Northern Ireland, the art of...


Ian Darke- World Cup Cult Icon

Extra Time Radio Podcast host and longtime friend Dave Gass joins me to talk about our World Cup Adventures. Then (11:16)former World Cup play-by-play commentator Ian Darke joins me. PLEASE NOTE: This was recorded in the summer of 2017. Darke is currently a play-by-play announcer for BT Sport. Darke has been calling sports for over 40 years. He's called every season of the Premier League and before he worked for BT, he worked as a commentator for Sky Sports where he also called boxing....


Bruce Arena- Why the US Didn't Qualify for Russia & How They Can Avoid It In The Future

On today's show, I speak with ex-US Men's National Team Coach Bruce Arena. Arena has coached football for more than 40 years in the United States. He's most famous for coaching the US twice, from 1998-2006, leading the team to their best finish in a World Cup Finals, when the US went to the quarterfinals in the 2002 tournament and also most recently in 2016, when he took over from Jurgen Klinsmann and was unable to lead the US to qualification for this year's tournament. It was the first...


Geir Jordet: Virtual Reality + What World Cup Teams Can Learn From Oil Riggers

Today our guest is sports psychologist Geir Jordet. Jordet is currently a sports psychology professor at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, specialising in psychology applied to football. He is also the Director of Psychology at the Norwegian Centre of Excellence (owned by the Norwegian Premier League), where he advises clubs in the top two professional leagues, as well as Norway’s national teams, on all topics related to psychology. Over the past 15 years, he has consulted...


Sergei Baltacha- Memories from the Soviet Union's Last Dynasty

Today our guest is Sergei Baltacha. Baltacha is the U-18s coach at Charlton where he's been since 2012. Before being a youth coach Sergei was a decorated player at Dynamo Kiev. He played there from 1976-1988, winning the Soviet League 4 times, the Soviet Cup 3 times and the 1986 Cup Winners Cup. After Dynamo Kiev, he finished his career in England and Scotland. He played 45 times for the Soviet Union and represented them at the 1982 World Cup. He was part of the USSR team that won the...


Momo Sissoko: Revisiting the 2007 Champs League final & the Valencia team of the 00's

Today we are joined by Mohamed Sissoko, also known as Momo Sissoko. Sissoko has played for the biggest teams in the world: Valencia, Liverpool, Juventus and PSG. He's won La Liga, the UEFA Cup, the FA Cup, the UEFA Supercup and Ligue 1. However, we mostly focus on his time at Valencia and Liverpool in this episode. As most of you will know the Champions League final featuring Liverpool is this Saturday so we'll be revisiting Sissoko's experience in a Champions League final, which is also...


Michael Beale- The Mastermind of Youth Coaching

Today we are joined by Liverpool FC Head of Coaching for the Foundation phase, Michael Beale. Beale has worked at every level of youth coaching from the Under 5's all the way to the U-23s. He's worked at two of the biggest clubs in England, Chelsea and Liverpool. He worked at Chelsea with Brendan Rodgers and then followed him to Liverpool. Starting in 2012 he spent 5 seasons there working with the U-21 and U-23 players, coaching the likes of Jordon Ibe, Raheem Sterling and more. He then...


Raphael Honigstein- Football Broadcasting in 2018 & Beyond

Today we are joined by German writer extraordinaire Raphael Honigstein. Honigstein is a regular contributor to ESPNFC and you can hear him every week on BBC 5 Live's Euro Leagues Football Show. He's also a regular guest on The Totally Football Show and writes for Unibet. He's written 4 books, most famously Das Reboot and Klopp: Bring the Noise. His most recent book is Per Mertesacker's autobiography which comes out on May 11th. Well you have to speak German for that one. I wanted to speak...


Stephen Constantine: The Marco Polo of Coaching

Today our guest is Indian National Team Manager Stephen Constantine. Stephen is a bit of a football nomad having coached in every corner of the world. He's coached 5 different national teams: Nepal, Malawi, Sudan, Rwanda and India twice. He's coached plenty of clubs as well: in the US, numerous teams in Cyprus, Greece, Bournemouth and Millwall. He also holds a UEFA Pro License. In the this episode, we get into some of his adventures from globetrotting around the world, including a story...


Stuart McFarlane: 17+ Years Capturing the Scenes at Arsenal

Today our guest is Chief Photographer at Arsenal, Stuart MacFarlane. MacFarlane has been working for the club since 2001 and but had worked with the club as far back as 1991 doing assignments for Colorsport. So today take a ride through Arsenal's Premier League years with Stuart and I. Specifically, we'll hear him discuss working with Arsene Wenger, the final days at Highbury, the victory parade after the season of the Invincibles, and who on the current team likes taking photos. You can...


Geremi: From Cameroon to European Champion

Today we are joined by Cameroon legend, Geremi. Geremi has played on some of the best teams in the world and has won the top prizes in the game. He won 2 champions league trophies with Real Madrid in 2000 & 2002, which he talks about in this episode. He then went to England to play with Chelsea in 2003. There he won the Premier League with Chelsea in 2005 & 2006. In this episode, he talks about the frustrations he had there and his relationship with Jose Mourinho. He then went on to play...


Dave Edwards: Athlete Activism in 2018 & Reliving Wales 2016 Cinderella Run

Today's guest is Reading midfielder Dave Edwards. Edwards has made more than 450 appearances in 18 seasons as a professional. He started his career at Shrewsbury Town, the team he supported as a child, before a brief stop at Luton Town. He then went to Wolverhampton, where he spent 10 seasons from 2008-2017, and won the Championship in 2009. He's affectionately known as Dangerous Dave to those fans and in his career, he has scored 60 goals. He has also represented Wales 43 times across the...


Chris Anderson: Pioneering Football's Data Revolution

Today's guest is football analytics guru Chris Anderson. Anderson is the co-founder of Anderson Sally, a football intelligence consulting firm, which helps clubs connect the dots between sport, strategy, and performance. When he's not consulting football clubs, he is a political scientist and visiting fellow at the London School of Economics. In 2013, along with David Sally, he wrote the Numbers Game which is one of the most influential books on football analytics. The Times even hailed it...


Martin Edwards: The Architect Behind Manchester United

Today's guest is ex-Manchester United owner and honorary president Martin Edwards. He ran Manchester United from 1980-2002 and in this time he took the club to new heights. When he took over the club was worth an estimated £2 million and when he left it was worth nearly £1 billion. During his time in charge, United won more than 17 major cups, including 7 Premier League trophies (compared to 5 in the 22 years before him). Edwards was part of the 'big 5' owners who led the formation of the...


Mick Harford- The Head Waiter

Our guest is Mick Harford. Harford is the Chief Recruitment Officer of Luton Town. Previously he was a player for more than 20 years making nearly 600 appearances and scoring almost 200 goals. He scored Chelsea's first goal in the Premier League. Following his playing days, he coached at Luton Town, QPR and others. In this episode, he discusses the role of the centre-forward in his day versus today, various aspects of scouting and whether he sustained permanent head injuries because of his...


Lawrie McMenemy: Buckingham Palace Guard to Winning the FA Cup

Today our guest is Lawrie McMenemy. Many of you, myself included, were not around when McMenemy was one of the elite managers in English football. In his 25+ years he coached at Grimsby Town, Doncaster, Southampton, Sunderland and was an assistant with the English National team. Some of his highlights include: guiding three different teams to promotion, winning the 1976 FA Cup with Southampton, and finishing second in the league in 1983-84. He's also managed legendary players like Peter...


Gerry Francis: London's Captain

Today's guest is Gerry Francis. Francis played nearly 20 years as a forward with numerous clubs, most notably QPR. In 1975 at the age of 23 he was named England captain. After playing he was a manager for 18 years, including at QPR & Tottenham. He led both to the position of top finishing London club which hasn't happened at either club since. He then became an assistant under Tony Pulis at West Brom, Crystal Palace and Stoke City. Recently he wrote a book called, The Team That Dared to Do...


Steve Avory: The Father of Charlton's Academy

Today's guest is Charlton Athletic Academy Manager, Steve Avory. Avory is one of the top developers of talent in the country. His club, Charlton, are the 7th best academy in producing professional footballers, ahead of the likes of Liverpool and Man City, according to Training Ground Guru. Some notable names to be developed since Avory started in 2001 include: Harry Arter, Jonjo Shelvey, Carl Jenkinson, Darren Randolph, Ademola Lookman, Joe Gomez. In the episode we investigate: how has...


Tony Coton: The Goalkeeper Guru

Today's guest is Tony Coton. Coton made more than 500 appearances as a goalkeeper for Birmingham City, Watford, Manchester City, Manchester United and Sunderland. He was Manchester's goalkeeper for nearly a decade under Sir Alex Ferguson. He is currently the Chief UK scout for Aston Villa. You can learn more about Tony from his autobiography, There to Be Shot At Timeline: 4:25 His debut when he set a record 7:50 Getting into...