In this football language podcast we look at some of the football expressions with the word ‘bench‘, including ‘on the bench‘, ‘come off the bench‘, ‘strong bench‘ and ‘to bench‘. You can read a transcript for this podcast below, while you can also check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at

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Learn English Through Football Podcast: The Bench

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the team – I hope you are all doing well. Now, in this short podcast we are going to look at some of the expressions connected to the word ‘bench‘ that are used in football and we’d like to say thanks to Maria for this as she asked about the expression ‘make the bench‘ which gave us the idea for this podcast.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Dutch).

Make the bench

DF: OK, let’s start with that phrase ‘make the bench‘ and this refers to when a player is named as a substitute and is on the bench for the game. If a player has ‘only made the bench‘ it suggests that they may have been dropped although if a player is returning from injury and they make the bench then this meaning is a little more positive. So, in this week’s Premier League opener, Tottenham player Harry Kane didn’t make the bench as his manager didn’t think he was fit enough to play.

On the bench/Come off the bench

So, if a player is on the bench it means that they are not in the starting xi – they are in the match day squad but not starting. If a player then replaces another team mate we can say they have come off the bench.

To Bench

To bench a player means that they have been dropped or demoted from the first team and instead will sit on the bench. Sometimes this could be because the player has not been playing well or that the manager wishes to discipline the player – a manager might bench a player who has not followed team instructions for example.

Strong bench

If a team has a strong bench it means that they can call on some good players during the game if they need to – their bench has players who are of a high level. Many of the top clubs in football have strong or deep squads which means that they can have a strong bench – they have good players in their match day squads waiting to come off the bench and play.


Stinger: You are listening to (in Spanish).

Good Bye

DF: Yes, you are listening to – that message was in Spanish. Don’t forget that there’s a transcript to this podcast and lots of vocab support which you can access by coming along to our site. OK, that’s it for this short podcast – we hope you enjoyed our look at some of the phrases connected to the word ‘bench‘. Don’t forget you can find lots of football language on our site here at, including our huge glossary of football expressions . Enjoy all the football this week and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye.

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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