Team 33's 2018: From Gary Neville and Ian Wright to tracking down cult heroes
Another year is over and for us on Team 33, we had a busy one in terms of interviewees and discussion points on the show.
And let's not forget it was a World Cup year as well, four years on from when the 2014 tournament spurred us on to start up as a podcast and radio show.
So as we enter a fifth year of Team 33's existence, and now as part of the Off The Ball network of shows, we'll be bringing you a few more interviews on the radio, podcasts and on YouTube.
In 2017, we chatted to the likes of Dutch legend Johan Neeskens, Manchester United wing wizard Andrei Kanchelskis and Carlton Palmer among many others that made a mark on the game or that we grew up watching in the Premier League and beyond!
In the same vein, here's some of the interviews and talking points that made it on to this year's show.
Manchester United legend and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville was in Dublin in August ahead of the new season and took time out to chat to me (and inadvertently to our cameraman Niall McGrath).
Similarly, Arsenal striking great Ian Wright was in Dublin and took time to talk to us about his own playing days and the teacher who inspired him.
Four years ago when we started the show during the 2014 World Cup, I had tried to get former Spain, Valencia and Middlesbrough midfielder Gaizka Mendieta on Team 33, only for him to turn up in Dublin a week after the final when I was away from the office and meet the rest of the team:
Mendieta in 2014 with Derek Ryan, Guillem Balague, Richard Chambers, Eoin Brennan, Joe Coffey and a 'Hey Raf' sign
Well, this year Mendieta was back in the country and we finally got our interview ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifying draw:
We were also lucky enough to chat to a few cult heroes of the game this year - players that we grew up watching on TV as youngsters or who featured in classic '90s documentaries.
So step forward Marian Pahars, Mart Poom and John Sitton...
And we also shared the company of Arsenal Fan TV's founder Robbie Lyle when he came to Dublin in late summer and joined us in the Off The Ball studio for a chat:
Football in 2018 has had many talking points in 2018 and for once, we (or one of us, at least) got a prediction, right. So step forward our oracle Joe Coffey whose pre-World Cup foretelling actually came true...
This year is ending with suggestions that Eleven Sports which had entered the football broadcasting market may be facing significant challenges and it harks back to a couple of chats Joe, Derek, Killian and I had on the show earlier this season:
And of course, it's been an "interesting year" for the Irish soccer team as the Martin O'Neill-Roy Keane era came to an end, around the same time as the rugby team hit the crest of another wave:
Beyond the Game
We also looked at issues in the grassroots this year, including speaking to former Irish internationals who represented Ireland at the Homeless World Cup:
Eric Eugene Murangwa, a former Rwanda goalkeeper and survivor of the genocide against the Tutsi spoke to me before the summer about his story and how he escaped:
Joe, Derek and I also spoke to Ronald Reng, author of a 'Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke' in April:
They are just some of the interviews with legends, cult heroes and more that featured on the show and if you want to find the rest, head right here.