We’ve come a long way from June 2017 when, one month before the start of the European Championship in the Netherlands, I was first asked to write a weekly women’s football blog for the Guardian. In many ways the growth of our coverage has gone hand-in-hand with the growth of the game. That is to be expected. The relationship between the media and football is not mutually exclusive: as women’s football grows, the demand for coverage grows and, as coverage increases, the game grows.
So, in the months leading up to the next Euros and in a week in which up to 85,000 fans are expected to flood into the Camp Nou to watch the European champions Barcelona play at the ground for the first time, against Real Madrid in the Champions League and potentially setting a record attendance for a club game, it feels apt that we are launching a weekly women’s football newsletter – the first by a UK national newspaper.
The weekly blog once played the role that this newsletter will, it rounded up the week in talking points at the bottom of a longer feature. However, as the game pushed against its various constraints, so too the volume of news and stories pushed against the constraints of the column’s five bullet points and its word count.
Since then our coverage has expanded significantly and is a core part of Guardian Sport’s football coverage. In conjunction with the Offside Rule, we are into our fifth year of the top 100 female football players list, we launched a women’s football transfer interactive in 2020 that tracks the comings and goings of the top five European summer leagues, we have minute-by -minute coverage of at least one game in every round of the domestic campaign, I was taken on to write full-time on the women’s game and, in 2020, we launched a WSL player in focus series – to name just a few ways we have expanded our coverage.
This newsletter – delivered every Wednesday – is part of our continuing commitment to expanding our coverage of women’s football. There will be much more innovation to come to help advance our quest for the comprehensive coverage that the game deserves and, critically, people want.
Sign up here
Most exciting for me is that this newsletter will be primarily written and put together by two longstanding women’s football writers and content creators, Girls on the Ball‘s Sophie Downey and Brazilian women’s football writer Júlia Belas Trindade, whose knowledge of the game both in England and internationally is extensive.
“I have been working in women’s football for almost 10 years now and the goal for me has always been about growing the game and getting as many eyes on it as possible,” Sophie says. “Being involved in the Guardian’s newsletter allows me to do this. It will help me continue my passion of shining a light on the beautiful game and the amazing stories and people behind the scenes. I’m excited to bring our readers news from around the world not only on the pitch but off it too. There is so much to uncover.”
Júlia adds: “I am so happy to be a part of this team. I have been covering women’s football in Brazil for years, but now, as I am based in the UK, I really wanted to become more international – and this is what I’ll bring to our readers. I want to show everyone that football is not only about the attendances, titles or goals, but also about the lives it touches everywhere, from the UK to Brazil, Europe, America, Asia and Oceania. Writing about football is what drives me forward, and hopefully, I’ll be able to pass that along.”
In addition to Júlia and Sophie, the newsletter will host the views of some of the biggest and most thoughtful names in the game, such as Ada Hegerberg, Anita Asante and Hope Solo. In guest columns they, and others to come, will be able to highlight the issues that matter most to them.
We hope this newsletter becomes an essential and engaging point of contact for anyone wanting to keep abreast of what is going on in women’s football but also provides humour, debate and fun alongside the week-by-week news of the game. This is just the beginning – we hope you enjoy the ride.
Still want more?
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism