Academic Gives Insights in Women Writers’ Football Anthology

Dr Julia West - football book
Dr Julia West with the book Football, She Wrote, an anthology of women's writing on football she has contributed to

Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science, Dr Julia West, who was a successful football goalkeeper, has written a chapter in Football, She Wrote. This brings together established and non-established female writers talking about different aspects of the game, from the fields of journalism, presenting, academia and more.

Dr West said: “Football, She Wrote aims to inspire and support women to participate, discuss and support other women across the realms of the football industry,” says Julia. “It includes chapters on a multitude of topics, embracing memoirs, profiles, interviews and talking points taking in sexuality, diversity and inclusion. I was so excited to be selected as one of the authors and I hope that readers get great pleasure in reading the book and seriously consider making that next step to becoming a goalkeeper.”

Football, She Wrote, which includes a foreword written by TV presenter Gabby Logan MBE, comprises 20 chapters by women writers, 10 of whom were commissioned, such as Julie Welch, Fleet Street’s first female football reporter. The other 10 are from new writers who were invited to submit to a competition.

Dr West’s chapter, The Accidental Goalkeeper, which won her a place in the book, begins with an account of how she came to be between the sticks by chance, having originally been a striker, but came to enjoy the position. Building on an academic article she had previously written about the key demands of being a football goalkeeper, Dr West used this information to explore, challenge and inspire readers and players to consider taking up goalkeeping. She also examined the qualities, both physical but also mental, that make a good goalkeeper.

“It is important to recognise all the positive things being a keeper brings,” she said. “Often the position is overlooked and criticised unduly especially through the media. Many goalkeepers I talk to have developed a depth of character that overcomes these somewhat negative perceptions, but this takes time to develop and often needs additional support.”

During her footballing career, Dr West worked her way up to play for England Universities and was also playing in the top flight of women’s football in the premier division, playing for Oxford United LFC and Brentford LFC, before she retired in 2001. She took her football coaching qualifications and has successfully coached three girls onto the England talent pathways, one of whom is also playing on a professional contract. She has mentored about 25 goalkeeper coaches through her goalkeeping academy, some of whom have gone on to work in professional clubs and one worked within the England goalkeeper camps. She currently coaches at Worcester City Women’s Football Club.

The book is being published by Floodlit Dreams in conjunction with the organisation Women in Football. It is available to order on Amazon and from Waterstones, or from