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Hand over the mic:

James Lewis

Content creator James Lewis is educating audiences with his bitesize women’s football videos and easy listening commentary. James talks us through his work, his inspirations and his goals for the future.

Photographs courtesy of James Lewis

8 August 2021

Video editor and Arsenal fan James Lewis is putting his knowledge and skills together to develop his own unique contribution to women’s football.

As we sat down together to start the ball rolling, our very first question asked how James became interested in women’s football and his answer was nothing if not honest.

“Arsenal were depressing me, the men. It’s 2019 and I was just really tired of men’s football and I was thinking I just need an escape; I need something to do.”

“Then France happened, the women’s World Cup. To be honest, I saw Jamaica and I was like, ‘what?!’ because the men can’t qualify for anything when it comes to football. Then I saw the fans and when Jamaica played everyone was respecting how small they were and I just thought this is really nice.”

Photographs courtesy of James Lewis

Suitably, yet refreshingly, surprised to see Jamaica in the finals of a major tournament, James saw the opportunity to broaden his horizons and ended up falling for women’s football hook, line and sinker.

“I just thought it was really fun. The Lionesses looked good, France looked really good and I realised how interesting women’s football was.”

However, as was the recurring problem with women’s football, and indeed women’s sport in general, coverage proved difficult to find at first.

“I didn’t really know where anything was, so I just tried to keep an eye out of things. But the season that’s just passed, that’s when I got really into it. I was on the FA Player like a demon. Constantly [thinking], what’s happening, what’s happening?!”

“So, from there I got properly into it. I support Arsenal, but obviously it was not their best season.”

When contemplating Arsenal’s latest season, James jokingly quips that he may be a “bad luck charm”. Yet with his expanding base of knowledge and his ongoing contribution, he must view himself as anything but.

Delving deeper into this new education, James touches upon the influence of social media. He notes the usefulness of social media platforms in further learning about the Women’s Super League, the Women’s Championship and beyond.

“I kept on learning, kept on watching and on Twitter you can learn a lot about different players and clubs.”

Photographs courtesy of James Lewis

Through Twitter James met a number of women’s football advocates when advertising “Throw in the Kitchen Sink”, a five-part documentary with 3Lance Media. Once filming had concluded, James stayed in touch with several interviewees whom he now considers as close friends.

“Friends like Nancy [Baker] and Drew [Diamond] are women’s football crazy so I am able to just badger them with questions!”

It was through these connections, as well as his own intuition, that James gathered enough familiarity of the game to begin marking his own stamp online. Citing Manchester City’s rising stars Ruby Mace and Lauren Hemp as two of his early inspirations, James paired his love of the game with his editing skills to put together quickfire videos promoting the youngsters.

“Then I started to talk about it, started to make highlight videos of players that I liked and that was really fun.”

The visual impact of the content, enhanced wholly by James’ easy articulacy, meant that these initial videos were certified successes. Taking this into account, James identified a niche in the market and began to commit more time to creating videos for newcomers to women’s football.

“I just thought, why don’t I make a channel where I can do videos for people like me who don’t really know that much. Thirty second videos, just quick videos about signings and players that can help people get into the game.”

“I know women’s football’s amazing, but there’s a lot of ignorant people, and a lot of people that just don’t know.”

Looking forward, James has set his sights high and has challenged himself to provide coverage of every Women’s Super League fixture of the coming season. But on a more personal note, James simply wishes to immerse himself fully into the ever-evolving sphere of women’s football.

“My hope is to surround myself with people from Her Football Hub, Since 71, On Her Side, all these amazing places, and then to put out content and just to continue learning about the women’s game.”

Check out James' YouTube channel here:

James Lewis, Womens Football, Women's Super League, Arsenal Women, extendedclips

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