Introducing is a new feature on Box To Box looking at a handpicked selection of magazines, fanzines, websites, blogs, teams, podcasts and individuals who produce great quality content on football and football culture.
With the 2017 Women’s European Championships kicking off later this month in the Netherlands, this week’s Introducing feature looks at MANON whose second issue of the magazine focuses on the female forces within the game, Euro 2017 and Dutch football culture.
We speak to the creative mind behind the passion-project, 30-year-old, Jenny Simmons, from Amsterdam.
To someone who hasn’t heard of it, how would you describe MANON in one sentence?
Jenny Simmons: I often describe MANON as a passion project that has the ability to manifest itself in varied forms. It just so happens that this is the second magazine that we’ve created, and this time it’s a celebration of Euro 2017 – (that’s two sentences, but give me a break!)
What is the story behind the creation of the magazine?
JS: I’m seeking to expose untold football stories from across the world, with a particular focus on female forces in the game, and in this issue, Dutch footballing culture, too, as the host nation for the tournament.
I wanted the design to be clean, fresh, and not overtly feminine in its style, which is often typical of publications aimed more specifically at women.
What is the ‘unique selling point’ of your project?
JS: It’s a very collaborative publication, created by a network of fantastic people I’ve met over the years, who, in turn, work with their friends, and their friends. I’m always astounded by how willing people are to work with me – purely out of passion for the project.
Out of everything you have done through the magazine so far, what are you most proud of/what has been your most enjoyable moment?
JS: The whole process was actually so much fun – of course, hard work, too, but definitely worth it in the end. I’m really proud of the end product and I couldn’t have done this issue without my good friend and wonderful designer, Stevie Wilcox, who really helped drive the project and visually take things to the next level.
We (I) decided to launch the magazine to coincide with my 30th birthday, so that was certainly a highlight, too!
What next for MANON?
JS: At this point, I’m not too sure. I’ve already been looking forward to the next World Cup, France in 2019, thinking about ways I could work on something, but the feedback I’ve had so far has been that we need to keep the momentum and do something sooner. Stay tuned and I’ll see what’s possible.
As the Women’s Euro 2017 tournament kicks off in just a few weeks, who do you think the favourites are and which players should we keep an eye out for?
JS: I’m feeling optimistic about England’s chances following the great World Cup we had, but I also anticipate that the hosts might have the ability to shock and play to their home advantage. In terms of players, I’d say look out for Jill Scott, Jade Moore and Shanice van de Sanden.
Do you remember what made you first fall in love with football, could you pin point it to a single moment?
JS: I grew up on a street in Lancaster where very little traffic passed through, so I used to look out of my window and see the older kids playing football on the road. I remember thinking that I really wanted to join in, so eventually, I did. From there I started playing in the school playground every day, and by the time I was 9, I was getting to school a whole hour early just to get as much game time as possible before the bell rang.
France ’98 was definitely the tipping point, when I became really obsessed, and I guess I’ve never looked back from there.
Out of all the football websites, magazines, podcasts, projects out there, what are your personal favourites?
JS: There’s so much good stuff out there now – lots of the content that was featured in this issue just wasn’t around when I was collecting stories a couple of years back – SEASON and This Fan Girl, for example. Other projects that I love are Shukyu Magazine, City Boys FC and the guys at Soho Warriors FC are always pushing the boundaries, working on cool stuff, too.
If someone wanted to collaborate with you at Manon, how would you suggest they went about it?
JS: It’s best to contact me via Instagram – @JennySimeone
To someone wanting to start up a similar project to yours, what would be your words of advice?
JS: Don’t hesitate, just make some steps towards your goal and you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish. Creative output, no matter how big or small is important, and something you can always learn from. You should always be embarrassed by your previous work in order to know that you’re progressing. I look back on MANON issue one that way.