Football in Spain is very important. The problem is that for many people only two teams really matter: Real Madrid and Barcelona. The thing is, there’s a whole world of football out there that doesn’t revolve around those two clubs. Regular readers of this blog may recall that I am a Bético, a passionate follower of Real Betis. I’ve also been to my fair share of lower league games. Here though, I’d like to draw your attention to Spain’s second tier, known as Segunda.
Spain’s second tier of football has a distinctly northern feel to it for a second successive year, as you can see from the map below, courtesy of Wikipedia. You have to feel a bit for the more southerly teams who have so much travelling to do. The two teams from the Canaries fly everywhere anyway, so there’s less sympathy for them! I guess the same goes for Ibiza and they get to live in the party capital of Europe anyway!! There is a terrific mix in this league of clubs like Real Zaragoza with a long and rich history in the game, Racing Santander who are trying to re-emerge as a giant in the game, and Andorra who have seemingly emerged from nowhere and are part-owned by Barcelona legend and now Shakira-less Pique. Maybe you’ve never heard of Mirandés, Ponferradina or Lugo. Well, you have now! There’s even a B team in Villareal’s reserves; something that divides opinion as to whether they should even be allowed to compete at this level, but at least it’s not one of the big boys. Whatever happens, it’s sure to be a fascinating season ahead with many twists and turns. Don’t miss out by ignoring Segunda!
So, how can you keep in touch with the comings and goings in Segunda? There are many ways, of course, but for the English speakers out there, a great place to start is with The Spanish Segunda Show, a weekly podcast hosted by Over The Bar. Alex and Liam do a great job of spreading the word of Segunda so why not head there and have a listen. The pre-season preview is two hours long and all the clubs are discussed in some detail. During the season the show is just half an hour long, but it’s great to get your Segunda fix in such an easy way. there’s even a predictions competition for you to join.
The stadia of Segunda teams are quite varied, but with many of the clubs having spent time in the top flight there are some great places to visit. I’ve been to Cartagena, Levante (Valencia) and Granada, so perhaps you’ll join me in seeing a few more along the way!
Malaga fans have their own podcast – Guiricast – which is worth a listen. Do you know of other English language podcasts for Segunda teams? Please let me know and I’ll add them here.