As a young girl walking into a football stadium with my dad, I was conscious that I was not your average football fan. I regularly found myself sitting in the stands at both White Hart Lane and Stamford Bridge as one of a real female minority.
Now as I sit in the stands with my six-year-old daughter, the difference in the numbers of male and female fans no longer feels as noticeable. She can buy a football shirt made specifically for female supporters and the stadium facilities catering for the growth of female attendees.
Spurs now boasts an average attendance of 8,614 at their women’s first-team matches, the most in the league; remarkable growth for a team that was founded the year I was born.
International Women’s Day is all about celebrating women’s achievements, increasing visibility and calling out inequality. Organizations such as Her Game Too have encouraged women to break out of their comfort zones and push for increased representation in the football world.
“I want people – boys and girls – to be sat at home watching me alongside the likes of Rio Ferdinand or Frank Lampard, thinking that it’s normal, that we all know what we’re talking about, and that they’re not judging me at home just because I’m a female.” — Alex Scott
Across the FPL community, female content creators have added a new dimension to the game. As the first female content creator on YouTube, FPL Nymphria paved the way for other women. In addition, Holly Shand’s creation of Fantasy Football Community gave the community a platform to celebrate their work.
Since, there have been a number of high-profile women in the game, including the likes of Jules Breach and Kelly Somers. Their work both in FPL as well as in the Premier League, European and international football alike, has encouraged others to follow their dreams and be active in the Fantasy and football arenas.
When Lee and I founded the FPL Family in 2017, I was anxious about the reaction that I would receive. In the early days of the FPL Family, we did have comments on my gender and the “I’m not listening to women who know nothing about football”-type lines. However, these comments were always dwarfed by the positives.
The encouragement of the team at Fantasy Football Scout has allowed me to have confidence in my own value as a content creator and to ride the quest of the wave as the FPL Family grew.
Over the course of the 2021/22 season so far we have seen the development of new female content creators, as well as increased activity from those that existed before. FPL Nymphria and Kylie FPL have a Weekly Watchlist stream on the FFScout YouTube channel and I love the Q&A streams I do with Az every week. On top of this, Linn is now part of the Scout Network and is doing great work, especially with FanTeam.
The Premier League, Official FPL and Fantasy Football Scout are great examples of how companies can improve their offerings by leveling the game. Last season, the Premier League worked alongside me to help me produce some video content on women in the game. I went to the Premier League with an idea to highlight the remarkable things that women were doing with FPL and they helped me to make it a reality.
We produced a video on the female personalities, which was published on the FPL website.
We also produced video content with some big female personalities in the FPL community. In addition, they gave me access to the rest of the recordings for a series of videos on the FPL Family YouTube channel.
Both my son and daughter are growing up seeing their mum and dad appearing on the FPL Show and the Official FPL Podcast. They are listening to Jules Breach on BT Sports Score on a Saturday afternoon and watching the likes of Kelly Cates, Kelly Somers and Alex Scott hosting football and working as pundits. As they get older and have access to social media, I hope that there will be equality for all creators and members of the community alike regardless of race, gender, creed, sexuality or age.
They are growing up in a world that strives to improve equality in the game and this is their normal. This is something that I am proud to be a part of.