If there is one thing that we love here at The Footy Gang then it is a good football podcast . We have already discussed the excellent I Had Trials Once, The Honest Football Podcast, Fantasy5 Podcast, That Chelsea Podcast, The Football Fanalytics Podcast, The Scoreless Thriller Podcast, Bench'd football podcast, VAR at the Bar Podcast and Real Football Cast.
In this article we will writing about another of our favourite podcasts: Across The Pitch football podcast. This is an excellent football podcast which originates from America. The below article has been written by the creator of the Across The Pitch podcast and his name is Phil Kennedy.
In the summer of 2018 Phil Kennedy, a native of Phoenix, Arizona was inspired to create a podcast that would keep U.S. fans interested in soccer beyond just the every 4 years cycle of the World Cup. Joining him on the maiden voyage of Across The Pitch would be his friend Arran Airs, a native Australian, who had lived in London, and now resided in Phoenix. Phil and Arran had built a football friendship based on their shared love of Arsenal, and their hometown Phoenix Rising FC, of whom they are season ticket holders for.
Their goal going in was to create a show that would help fans in the U.S. to understand the intricacies of the European, and specifically English game. To do this they knew that they would need to dig deep below the "Big 6" or even the Premier League to properly explain things like pro/rel, and to properly tell the history of the English Football League.
It was decided early on that Accrington Stanley, a team that personified everything that they wanted to talk about, from its rich history, to recent small budget success to be their flagship team. In just their second episode they were able to interview Accrington midfielder Scott Brown, and as they say, the rest is history.
Since then, the show has gone on to not only interview almost every current member of the Accrington playing and coaching staff; plus dozens of legends over the past 2 years; but the show itself has grown from just 2 friends talking about football into a truly international brand.
The first addition to the hosting staff was Matt Robards, a fellow Phoenix resident and PRFC season ticket holder, who also played up through the college level. Matt brings a level of tactical expertise to the show due to his playing experience, and is an expert on the international transfer market, MLS, USL, the Premier League and USMNT.
'Across The Pitch' became a truly international brand with the addition of Darren Woodhead, an Accrington native and resident who is also the author of multiple books about the team. Darren's most recent book, 50 Years of Accrington Stanley is the most comprehensive written record of the team that has been compiled since the club refounded as a "Phoenix Team" in the late 1960's. Darren specializes in the Accrington Stanley Legend's interviews for Across The Pitch, was responsible for bringing David Lloyd on the show as a guest twice, and is also the founder of the Accrington Stanley Memories Facebook Group and accringtonstanleymemories.com website.
In the spring of 2019 Phil met Abdulai Suburu of Wa, Upper West Region in Ghana on Twitter through their shared love of Ghanaian International, and PRFC captain Solomon Asante. After having Suburu on the show, Phil was so impressed with his knowledge and passion for the game, and specifically of the sport in his home country of Ghana, that they worked together to form the partner website ghanafootballnews.com. Since then Suburu has also started working on the radio for W95.3 FM in his region of Ghana.
Later in 2019, Tony Robinson joined the team and has been instrumental in our Accrington Stanley interview series, as well as bringing a wealth of knowledge about his "2nd club", Burnley F.C., and an unrivaled passion for the game. Tony is an Accrington native who grew up on Stanley Street (the same street the team is named after) and now lives in Toronto, Canada. Tony is also the mastermind behind "Rapid Fire", which has become our most popular segment on the show, and gets guests to reveal such personal details as whether or not they prefer red or brown sauce on their bacon sandwiches.
It is a journey that when we first began in 2018 as just Phil and Arran talking about soccer, we could never have imagined would lead to everything it has. This perhaps most importantly includes the founding of the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Club of North America. A project, which we started in correlation with Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Trust Chairman Peter Leatham has allowed us to help grow the club as a global brand in the U.S. and Canada.
With Peter's assistance and blessing we have also established, along with Suburu, an arm of the Supporters Club in Ghana, are working on a branch in Australia, and are in the process of launching accyworld.com, which will be an interactive map for Accrington Supporters around the world to register their location. Peter has been absolutely instrumental in not just the founding of these clubs, but has also arranged many guests for the show, appeared on the show as a guest himself, and even co-hosted an episode.
As time has gone on the cast has grown to, as Darren has joked, "about the size of the cast of Ben Hur", with every contributor bringing unique knowledge and perspective to the show. Ross Devonport, who grew up in Watford, supports Bournemouth, and now lives in Florida, is also the color commentator for the Greenville Triumph SC.
He has contributed to a number of projects on ATP, but most notably brings an in-depth understanding of USL League One, which is the 3rd tier of the U.S. football pyramid. He also has the unique perspective of being an English born fan, living in The States, that has followed the sport as it has grown in popularity on this side of the pond.
With the COVID19 crisis of 2020 bringing almost all of the football world to a halt, ATP did the only thing a show committed to covering football in every corner of the world would do. We started a series about the only league that kept playing, the Belarus Premier League. It was with this series that Jonny Hibberd, who currently lives in the Midlands of England, but is from, and supports Stevenage, joined the program.
Jonny has lived in Ukraine and traveled to Belarus, which gives him a unique knowledge of the sport in Eastern Europe, and that region of the world. He also has an in-depth knowledge of English Non-League Football and League Two.
The list of contributors would not be complete without mentioning folks like John Earnshaw who is an Accrington supporter first, but spiritedly covers Barrow AFC, his hometown club on our Facebook page and has put an Across The Pitch logo sign up at Holker Street. Ed Zelaski, an American, who has had a long term interest in the Belarus League and FC Isloch (another club the show has come to represent) has become a fixture on the Belarus specials that we do with Jonny.
We hope you enjoyed this article and we would encourage any football fan to give this football podcast a listen. The amount of time and effort that the Across The Pitch team put into this podcast is astonishing and they deserve all the listeners they can get. If you enjoyed this article, please let us know over on our Twitter: @TheFootyGang. If you are a fellow football podcaster and would like to promote your podcast on The Footy Gang website then please get in touch.