We’re just over a month into the semester now, and that old familiar feeling is back. “I’ve got study, I’ve got assignments, I’ve got work.” Between all of that it can be pretty hard to maintain a social life, let alone keep up with the football!
That’s why we have decided to compile a list of some football podcasts for you to listen to on that walk back from lectures or the journey home for the weekend.
Now, I’m sure everyone knows about the Irish Times’ Second Captains, the Guardian’s Football Weekly or Newstalk’s Off The Ball.
But rather than give you the standard list of regulars, we’ve gone for a list of alternatives that will suit everyone’s tastes. Plug in and enjoy.
We’ll start with a local one. Stephen and Donal are two Irish lads who started this podcast earlier this year out of their love for chatting about the footy, namely the Premier League.
You might know Stephen from the successful pop culture podcast Anticdotes. That probably explains why this show comes across as supremely professional right from the off.
The sound is crystal clear, the content is superb and the intro is one of the best I have ever heard for a football (or any) podcast. They are both from Dundalk, Co. Louth too, so there is a lot to love about the accents.
Another Irish pod, this time based in Dublin. Three guys, fed up with coverage of the game in the mainstream media, decided to do something about it rather than just sit and complain. Through that, The Final Third was born.
In their belief that football is more than just the English Premier League, Rob Canavan, Rob Palmer and Conor Kelly talk about football in Italy, Germany, France, Netherlands, America and more.
Some of the stings and musical interludes, provided by producer Adam Kelly, between slots are hilarious, while the football talk is in-depth and analytical, yet humourous at the same time.
They also do YouTube videos so you can put a face to the voices.
Now many of you may be questioning the wisdom of an Irish person listening to a couple of Canadians talk about Premier League football. But believe me, it’s worth it.
They cover the beautiful game in a beautiful manner, with great insight and some laughs. One of the advantages to subscribing to this podcast as a European listener is the time difference.
The Coshcast is out by Monday morning Irish time, which means no waiting until after college or work for your dose of football listening, you can have it for your commute. Check out their blog too.
There are some very good podcasts about La Liga, but the very best for me has to be The Spanish Football Podcast.
Hosted by Phil Kitromilides (presenter on Real Madrid TV) and Sid Lowe (journalist for Guardian, ESPN, World Soccer, etc.), there are few shows that are in as good a pair of hands as this one.
Their understanding of Spanish football, as well as Spanish society, politics, culture and language, is second to none for an English-speaking podcast, and makes for a splendidly well-rounded show.
Whether it’s about the domestic leagues or the national team, French Football Weekly is the podcast for French football.
Hosted by Andrew Gibney, Jeremy Smith and Rich Allen, they have carved a fantastic little niche for themselves.
Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France might not seem like the most glamorous or attractive football in the world, but it has provided so much of the talent we see on display in the Premier League today, from Thierry Henry to Dimitri Payet and Anthony Martial.
With Euro 2016 being held in France, it is a perfect time to subscribe, and they are great to follow on Twitter for live matches.
This might be the most left-field suggestion of all, but there may not be a more interesting time to follow Belgian and Dutch football than the present moment, and for widely differing reasons.
Benefoot, hosted by Michiel Jongsma and Scottish journalist Peter McVitie, covers the two in detail, while their website is also full of great content.
It’s well worth a listen for Champions League previews and in the run up to next summer’s European Championships.
To round off with another Irish podcast, this effort from the guys at Backpage Football is great.
Presented by Neil Sherwin and Paul Little (Daily Star), there is Premier League and Champions League talk, but there is also a focus on Irish matters.
There is excellent debate on the Ireland team and I would recommend downloading new episodes around the time of Ireland matches. They have also made the finals of the Web Awards for four years running.