The month of March is also known as Women’s Month. For this special occasion, we had the opportunity to interview Amy Brusquer (pictured below) from ‘This Fan Girl’. ‘This Fan Girl’ is a digital community for female football fans, capturing the faces, voices, stories and opinions of women who love the beautiful game.
Amy’s journey has taken her to EPL clubs across the U.K., creating a visual documentary of women who support football along the way. From the start of her page to her upcoming plans, Amy gives us all the details on how she is dedicated to continually improving the representation of women in football.
How/when was the ‘This Fan Girl’ page first started?
“This Fan Girl began officially in late 2016. I’m a Leicester City fan, and when they were having their title winning season I travelled back home loads to take some photos of the fans, just as a memory for myself. Me and my friend were looking at some of the pictures I’d taken, and they were all men. Then we did a search for female football fan imagery online, and the image return was always of the “hottest female fan” or the “sexiest soccer girl”. While we totally support women dressing any way they please, it didn’t seem representative of us – so we figured it probably wasn’t representative of a lot of women in the UK. We wanted to take some realer, more authentic pictures. So the first game of the 2016/2017 season, we headed to Arsenal and began snapping – after that game we didn’t look back! We set up our channels, committed to visiting every club in the Premier League, and 9 months later had a collection of over 400 images.”
What is your favorite football club and why?
“I have to say my team Leicester. I was born there, raised there – so going to watch Leicester has been a part of my life for 20 odd years. I’m a true blue. They’re probably the least boring club in the UK to follow, relegations, relegations again, promotions, title wins… 2016 (when they won the Premier League) was probably the best year of my life. I still watch victory videos on YouTube about twice a week.”
In what ways have you seen growth among female football supporters across the UK since starting This Fan Girl’?
“It’s funny – I’m not convinced there are more women watching football because of This Fan Girl. Female football fans have been around for ages, chatting to some of the women we’ve snapped, they’ve been at clubs since the 60’s. I think what might have changed is that female fans are becoming a bit more confident to shout about their love for their club. I’ve felt, so many times in the past, that I have to work really hard to prove my fandom for my team. You get questions like – can you name your starting squad though, do you only watch football because of your boyfriend?…etc. I think This Fan Girl is creating a community where women feel not only way more confident to talk about football, but way more supported. And that’s such a positive change”
So far, what has been your favorite moment during your travels to different football clubs around the U.K.?
“We’ve had hundreds, but they’ve all been based around the conversations we’ve had with different fans. We’ve met so many different women, and heard so many incredible stories of their fandom. I met two women at Manchester City who’d been coming to the games since the 60’s together – and then you get generations of women who say the football is their day out, not their husbands or dads. We met one woman at Man Utd., who said she’d moved with her young family to Australia – but had to move home after six months’ because she missed Old Trafford so much. That passion for the game is absolutely no different in women.”
Does the ‘This Fan Girl’ page draw interest and support from women in the U.S.?
“Yeah, we have a bunch of followers in the US! Because we’re based in London, and we grew up on English Football, we tend to focus our content on that but we really want to do more in the MLS, and worldwide. We actually did a collaboration with a photographer and LA Galaxy last summer – it was so cool (and very jealousy inducing) to get pictures back of girls in LA Galaxy jerseys with palm tress in the back. we’d love to do something with female soccer teams in the US too – you’re a long way ahead of us in promoting the female game.”
Lastly, how do you envision the ‘This Fan Girl’ account expanding through the football scene in the next few years?
“Our focus is to improve the representation of women in football – so whether you’re a fan, a player, a journalist, or someone just changing the game, we’re here for your stories and want to support women to be able to take a more active role within the game, at all levels. We’ve moved a little more into video, so we have loads of episodes planned, and of course more photography. We’re basically just trying to build a community – and allow women to be involved and enjoy the game in the exact same way that men do.”
For more about ‘This Fan Girl’ check out the video below.
Make sure to stay tuned to the Soccer365 Blog for more ‘This Fan Girl’ features coming next week. Receive 15% off all women’s footwear here at World Soccer Shop.