“IT’S A VERY EXCITING TIME TO BE A WOMAN IN SPORT” – INTERVIEW WITH THIS FAN GIRL

This Fan Girl began as a photography project that aimed to capture the true image of female fans, and in a very short space of time blew up into a huge online (and face-to-face!) community for women in football. We spoke to one of the project’s founders, Amy Drucquer, to find out more about how this all started, what’s happened along the way, and what we should be expecting next.

 

Hi Amy, we’re Equipo, and we like to get to know other creative people, especially those making football content. Since you’re the founder of This Fan Girl, we have a few questions about your project.

Firstly, how did it all start? Where did the idea of This Fan Girl come from?

I’m a Leicester fan, so a couple of years ago I went to take pictures of Leicester’s title-winning season. All I could think about at the time was the possibility that Leicester could actually win the league, and I’d spend every minute reading about this and the fact that Spurs could have snatched it from us at the last minute. I went to a lot of Leicester games when I was younger, and I noticed that both then and now there wasn’t much visual content depicting fans. 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 I got practising a bit more and played with a couple of my friends’ cameras to figure out which ones I liked. Then one day, Laura and I were in the pub watching the Euros and she said that we should do the same sort of thing, but make it about female fans.

“Ultimately we just want to support women and women in football”

The portrayal of female fans in the media was, and still is, crazy. It’s always that same image of a thin, white woman, in a push-up bra and crop top. And that’s cool – but it’s not me. And nor was it Laura, or my mum, or my sisters, or any other women I’d ever enjoyed watching 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!

What kind of support have you had, and what problems have you come across throughout your time with TFG?

We’ve had incredible support – both from the footballing community and wider titles like the BBC and Copa90. I think it’s pretty easy to understand what we’re trying to achieve and get behind it – ultimately we just want to support women and women in football so it’s been overwhelmingly positive. We still get a few haters online which used to really annoy me – but it’s never going to be that everyone likes what you’re doing, so you just have to move past it.

 

How much importance do you think women’s football, and women’s sports in general, have this day in age?
It’s really interesting – there are so many industries that are really waking up to the fact that they need to do more to include women in all aspects of their business. A year or so ago, I would have said football was one of the worst culprits for not doing that – but there has been a lot of positive change over the last few months and it feels like the tide is changing. It’s a very exciting time to be a woman in sport, and I feel like this is just the beginning – I’m not sure we’ve seen anything yet.
How did you feel when Leicester won the Premier League?
Raggggahahhaahh. My gosh. That season. It was pure bliss. Having said that, I remember a few games (Leicester West Ham, 2-2 being one that comes to mind) when I bit my nails down to skin. There will never be anything like that again. I actually think it changed my mindset a lot. Best year of my life.
What do you think about the fact that new projects surrounding football such as Equipo are popping up more and more?
People are hungry for a longer tail to football. It really is about so much more than the 90 minutes – it encapsulates culture, identity, locality, fashion…. it’s wicked to see more and more projects popping up which interpret that in their own way.
What are your future plans for This Fan Girl?
We want to make more varied content, more video, more editorial, more brand partnerships, more matches, more away days, more gals, more boys…. we’ve only just started!

 

Many thanks to Amy Drucquer for the interview. If you wish to learn more about This Fan Girl, and see more photos from the project, you can do so via the following links: thisfangirl.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Images: This Fan Girl.

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