Introducing is a feature looking at a handpicked selection of magazines, fanzines, websites, blogs, teams, projects and individuals who produce great quality content on football and football culture. 
23% of football fans in the Premier League are women, yet the mainstream media landscape does not reflect this. This Fan Girl is a project which captures this diversity and passion of female football fans and aims to break the misconception that female football fans have a ‘type’ and retell the narrative about women at the game.
On International Women’s Day, we celebrate this project and female football fans with an interview with This Fan Girl’s talented founding member, Amy Drucquer.
To someone who hasn’t heard of it, how would you describe This Fan Girl in one sentence?
Amy Drucquer:  Since we started, we’ve evolved a bit. We started it as a photography series – but now, I’d describe it as a digital community for female football fans.
What is the story behind the creation of the project?
AD: I’m a Leicester fan, so (a couple of years ago now…) I went home to take pictures of Leicesters title-winning season. It was all I could think about at the time, and I’d spend every hour reading about the likeliness of Leicester actually being able to win, and how Spurs would snatch it form us last minute, but there was nothing visual that was depicting the fans, and my memories of going to Leicester games when I was younger. I’d never really touched a camera before, but I went and took some photos of a few of the matches, just to have a memory for myself. I quite liked the way they came out, so got practising a bit more and playing with a couple of my friend’s cameras to figure out which ones I liked. Then Laura and I were in the pub watching the Euros and she said we should do the same thing, but about female football fans.
The portrayal of female fans in the media was and still is, crazy. It’s the same image, of a thin, white woman, in a push-up bra and crop top. That’s cool – but that’s not me. And it wasn’t Laura, and it wasn’t my mum, or my sisters, or any other women I’d ever enjoyed football with. So yeah, we headed down to Arsenal for the first game of the 2016/17 season and starting snapping. We were so nervous about approaching people at first, but from that match, This Fan Girl began! 

Do you remember what made you first fall in love with football, could you pinpoint it to a single moment?

AD: I started going to games when I was little and I’ve loved it since then. But to be totally honest, it was always the culture, traditions and fans that interested me more – and still does. I didn’t know what the hell I was watching when I first started going. I was a bit of a shit fan during uni years and when I first moved to London – I’d only go a couple of times a year with my dad to games and didn’t follow particularly religiously.

When Leicester came up in 2014, me and Laura (who I started This Fan Girl with) started to watch games together (she’s a West Brom fan). One of my favourite memories from that year was the 5-3 over Man Utd. That Vardy mohican, that Cambiasso finish. I still watch that video on YouTube every few weeks, it gives me goosebumps.

What is the unique selling point of your project?

AD: I think people are drawn to This Fan Girl because we include everyone. Our pictures from last season are so incredibly varied – and we’re so proud to be able to represent such an incredible mix of women.

Recently, we started a fan forum too, and that’s been such an incredible way to build the TFG community – for me that’s what I love most about what we do. I’ve been to the pub by myself so many times to watch the football, and even though we’ve been to a lot of different grounds in the UK, that can still be a really intimidating thing to do as a woman by herself. I know now that there are so many women that I’m connected with that I could go to watch a game with now – and that’s really powerful, to be able to have the same inclusion in a football experience.

Out of everything you have done through This Fan Girl so far, what are you most proud of/what has been your most enjoyable moment?

AD: I loved visiting all the clubs last year. Nothing compares to matchday energy, and we got to see that through the eyes of female fans throughout the country 20 plus times last year. We met some incredible characters too. We did our first ever TFG self-produced video this year too – I did that with my sister, and we had so much fun doing that – speaking to six amazing women who love Crystal Palace more than anything – releasing that was a real highlight.

What next for This Fan Girl?

AD: We always joke that we can’t ever have a proper meeting because we have too many plans, and then just end up going off on one. We’re doing monthly meetups, we’re in the middle of Episode 2 and sorting out flights to NY as we speak, we’re working with a female footballer to tell her story & connection with the game, more photos, more video, basically, just women who love football over everything, everywhere.

Out of all the football websites, magazines, podcasts, projects out there, what are your personal favourites?

AD: I love Copa90. They just get it right – put the fans at the heart of it. They’ve started a Derby Days video series for the month of March and we went to the screening of that recently and we were so buzzed after.

I love Season, they’re killing it.

I love Versus – I like the way they’re not strictly all football.

Love the creative female football scene in London too, there are loads of clubs doing sick stuff on and off the pitch. I guess I appreciate when websites/magazines make an effort to talk to all football fans.

To someone wanting to start up a similar project to yours, what would be your words of advice?

AD: Roll up your sleeves and get to it – don’t be afraid of not knowing exactly what you’re doing when you start either. There is SO much space for more female voices in football, and the football community has been so supportive of us – but you have to get in amongst the action. Getting down to games, talking to fans, early mornings, late evenings, minus 2 degrees outside Selhurst Park. It’s all part of the fun though!

If someone wanted to collaborate with you at This Fan Girl, how would you suggest they went about it?

Holler at us!

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