New Year New Plans


Honestly it is safe to say 2021 has flown by in the blink of an eye and some how we are already starting the new year. 2021 was a year of growth over here at Edge of the Area and I am so proud of how far we have come once again however, we are definitely aiming even higher in 2022 to smash the goals we have set for ourselves and to bring our best content yet. Somethings will be staying the same as they always have done whereas a few things might be changing or become better than they were previously. The core of Edge of the Area is going to be very similar to before but as we move into the new year here is what we are hoping to bring to Edge of the Area as a whole... 

Match Previews 
We have been thinking of adding this to the site for a long time and with a bit more free time to focus on the site this is something we are really looking forward to adding to the site. We will be doing previews for both Bradford City men's & women's home games that we will be attending along with a few other games that we know we are going to be watching that week or weekend. What we might do is at the start of each week is put a poll up on social media to see what games people are interested in reading about, although if there is a game we are particularly interested in that will be added to the list straight away. 

Match Reports
Whichever games we do the match previews for we will be following those games up with match reports, obviously as previous the Bradford City women's ones will be in a fair bit of detail however, any other games could just be quick recaps rather than the full thing although if it has been a really good game it might go into a bit more detail. It is safe to say we are really enjoying doing the match reports so to be able to increase those will be fantastic. 

Play/Staff Interviews
It was great to interview a few more players and staff members in 2021 and we are really hoping to do a lot more interviews over the course of 2022. We want to include a lot more players and clubs into this rather than just sticking to the same clubs all over the time. Fingers crossed we can do these interviews in different formats over the course of the year rather than just having email chats with those that we are interviewing. 

Go To Watch Different Teams 
Over the course of 2022 we want to get to watch a variety of teams throughout the seasons rather than just sticking to Bradford games. There are a lot of different local clubs that we could be very easily going to watch when Bradford aren't at home and it would be nice to support the local lower league teams and give them a little bit of coverage. It will definitely be nice to mix up the types of games we attend next year. 

Euro 2022 Courage 
We managed to get all the tickets we wanted to for the women's Euro's that are being held here in England so there will be plenty of coverage of those games we are attending along with the build up and those games we have watched on the TV if we didn't have tickets. We will be doing reports, opinion pieces and also behind the scenes showing off the build up and atmosphere at those games we actually attend. 

Live Tweets 
Alongside the match reports and match previews we will also be trying to live tweet a fair few games each week, these might be games we have done previews on or they might be completely different games. What we are think is that at the start of the week we will put a poll up to cover the selection of games and then live tweet those games that win the polls. I think that the live tweeting is going to be fun and a bit different to how things have gone in 2021 and I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out over the course of the year. 

In 2021 we were a bit hit and miss with Instagram as a whole however, in 2022 we are hoping to be a whole lot more active on the platform and update our feed a whole lot more. We will also be focusing on those Instagram stories a lot more and reader interaction so we will be adding in more polls and behind the scenes which I think will be fun to do and it will be great to get more people involved. We have invested in some editing software too so we will be putting that to use to make the quality of our graphics a whole lot better. 

We might have been hit and miss on Instagram but we have seriously neglected our Facebook page. It is just out of pure laziness that we haven't been as active on Facebook as we should have been but that is going to change in 2022. There will be plenty of content coming to the page as we try to increase our following on the platform and engage those people a lot more. Facebook is definitely a platform we need to get back onto. 

Finally everything is in place for us to begin the Edge of the Area podcast in 2022, I am not sure when that is going to be launched just yet but it will definitely be happening at some point in the year. We have the equipment we need to get going but we now just need to sort out a bit of a schedule for recording and editing then we will be good to. I am really looking forward to doing this as it has been planned for a long time and I think it is going to be a really fun thing to get up and running for 2022. 

More Shirts
We have really enjoyed talking about shirts on the site throughout 2021 and will be carrying on with them in 2022 however, they wont be dominating the site as much as they have done previously. We will be doing bits throughout the year and mainly be focusing on them as the new ones are released at the start of the season. The shirts posts will be scaled back but they wont be fully disappearing. 

Boot / Equipment Reviews
I am aiming to be back playing football a lot more regularly in 2022 so that will hopefully mean more boots and equipment reviews such as shin pads. I have done boot reviews in the past and really enjoyed doing them so it will be nice to add them back to the site as I am wearing them more often. I am really looking forward to playing more often and I am looking forward to trying new boots even more. 

Stadium Tours
We have been wanting to do stadium tours for a while but obviously the situation in the world has meant this hasn't been possible yet. Fingers crossed in 2022 we can finally make a start on a few of the stadium tours we have been wanting to do for a while. We wont just be sticking to the big teams stadiums though as we want to showcase stadiums at all levels to capture what it is like for the different times. 

Opinion Pieces / Player Fact Files 
Opinion pieces have been a bit hit and miss on the site lately but in 2022 we will be trying to do a few each month alongside our other content. We really enjoy the opinion pieces we do and I think we have a lot more to say as the seasons progress and new seasons begin. We have also been looking at doing some player fact file pieces too from players from various leagues around the world. I think it will showcase a few different players to people who haven't particularly heard of them before. We won't just be focusing on the big names we will be trying to get everyone involved. 

Weekly Round Ups 
We finally have good internet so we should be able to watch a lot more games from the WSL over on the FA Player alongside a lot more NWSL game so we are thinking of doing weekly round up posts especially work the NWSL like we used to do so that fans outside the USA have results in one place. We will also try to get WSL round ups done once a week with the results and a bit about any games we have watched. 

Finally 2022 is going to be the year that everything is up and running in terms of Edge of the Area merchandise. We have a very limited amount of shirts going on sale in the new year and we will also be beginning to sell various other items as the year progresses. We will be asking very soon what people will be interested in the most and releasing those bits before anything else.  At the moment it is just me, Liam and my nephew who are wearing the Edge of the Area items but I am looking forward to seeing other people in them in the future. Plus if the shirts sell well we will be getting more of those in. 

Fingers crossed 2022 goes to plan and we can improve a lot of these areas and have the best year for the site to date. A lot of these things have been in the pipeline for a long time and it is about time we got those ideas in the open and get working on them rather than them just sitting as notes on a piece of paper. 2021 was a great year but let's hope 2022 is even better. 

Let's hope for a fantastic year including a whole lot of football and even more football based content. 

Our Current Favourite Bradford City Players

It has been a strange start to the season for the Bradford City team with some great performances and some absolutely terrible ones, we went into the season full of hope after a pretty promising build up to the start of the season. However, once again it has been difficult to be a City fan with results just not going our way when we know that on paper our team is capable of big things. For some reason something isn't clicking at times with the team and performances just haven't been good enough. A few players have definitely not had the best of times lately and a few have also been hit by injuries that have kept them out for a while so I can't really judge them, there are a few players who have definitely stood out for me though and have had some very good games and have helped Bradford City get some of the results they desperately needed. So here are our current favourite Bradford City players...

Vernham has been brilliant out on the wing for us this season as his pace really helps us beat the opposition defenders and also get us in some dangerous places. He is also able to put some really good balls into the box which is what we really lack when he is unavailable for selection. He has got a few goals to his name but honestly it is his build up play that impresses me the most. 

I am so glad that Sutton is back from injury as he has been a big part of the team recently. He is absolutely fantastic in the middle of the field and can win the ball back in some great positions for us and help us break forward. He is definitely what City have been missing recently and fingers crossed he can stay injury free as I think he is going to be a key player for us and help us finally start to move up the table. 

Callum Cooke is a brilliant player whether he starts on the field of play or comes on as a substitute. His set pieces are great and he is brilliant in the middle of the field. I would love to see more of him alongside Sutton though as I think that midfield partnership could be great. I would definitely love to see Cooke get some more game play as he definitely deserves it and a few of the current midfielders definitely look like they could use a rest. 

I have absolutely loved Paudie O'Connor since he first arrived at the club as he is a great defender for such a young age. He has solidified his spot in central defence and is not only a great defender but we have seen how he can grab a goal for himself at set pieces. O'Connor doesn't seem to make as many rash decisions as he used to and he has shown he is a leader of the team. Let's hope he can stay injury free and away from suspension as the team definitely need him in that back line. 

Songo'o was one of the players we got in the summer and I was a bit on the fence about how he would fit into the squad but since seeing him play I have realised how good of a player he is. He is great in defence or as a defensive midfielder and he has put in some great challenges and helped us get into some great positions. Having him as an extra defender when he is in that defensive midfielder role is great as it just gives us a bit more protection at the back. Yes he has had some questionable games but so have the rest of the team but he seems to realise his mistakes a lot quicker and bounce back with a great performance.

These players have definitely helped City out so far this season and I can see them being influential right up until the end of the season. I am sure when I do my favourite players of the season overall some of these names are still going to be in the mix as I can only see them helping the squad as long as they stay injury free. It is going to be interesting to see how the season progresses for City after the Christmas period and I hope it is going to be a case of us starting to pick up all 3 points from games and hopefully by the end of the season a few more names will make the list.  

End of Year New In Shirt Round Up

I honestly thought I had done well when it came to buying football shirts this year but as I was putting the images together for this post I realised that I have actually added a lot more football shirts to my collection than I originally thought. I also noticed that there is actually quite a good mixture of shirts that I have acquired and I have actually added some women's fit shirts which is definitely a change as I normally only buy men's fitting ones. So here are the shirts that I have added to my collection over the course of 2021... 

Me and Liam added another Rangers shirt to our collection at the start of 2021 thanks to it being on offer at Classic Football Shirts. I think that these were just £12.99 each so there was no way weren't ordering them. I can see a lot more Rangers shirts been added into the collection over the next few years. 

My auntie actually got me this Atletico Madrid shirt from a local charity shop and I am amazed at the condition it is actually in. There are a few little things like the Nike sizing being worn out in the neck of the shirt but other than that it is actually in great condition. It has all the badges on the sleeves to which is a great little bonus. 

This shirt is one that was simply purchased due to my love for it on FIFA Ultimate Team. This was my teams shirt all through my time with the game and I fell in love with it. I honestly never thought that I would own a RB Leipzig shirt but as soon as I saw it in the end of season sale I knew I had to purchase it. 

This PSG 2020/21 away shirt was another end of season sale purchase that I certainly don't regret. When this short was originally released I told Liam that I wanted it so when I saw it on offer it went straight into my basket. I had never really been bothered by PSG shirts in the past but I think it was the collar that sold me on this shirt the whole thing just looks brilliant and to say I don't normally like white shirts I have actually won this shirt a fair bit. 

I absolutely love watching Away Days, Ellis who runs the channel is fantastic and I honestly watch every video he posts. When he announced these shirts earlier in the year I knew I had to make sure I got one as the overall design is fantastic. 

For Liam's birthday I got him a retro Barcelona shirt and I just had to get myself this Juventus one at the same time. As soon as I saw the image of it on the website I knew it needed to be added to the collection and I really can't wait to wear it when it finally fits me properly. I would love to add more shirts like this into my collection in the future. 

As I said earlier I don't normally buy women's fitting shirts just because I feel they are ridiculously tight no matter what size you get. I saw this Barcelona shirt in Sports Direct for £15 though and bought it straight away. Yes I am never going to fit into this but it is such a nice shirt with the colour and the collar. This is definitely one of my favourite Barcelona shirt in recent years. 

When I got my Barcelona shirt I also spotted this England Lionesses home shirt for just £10 and although it is in a women's size I made sure to purchase it as I already had the home shirt at home. I would love to be able to fit in this for the Euros in July but I highly doubt that. 

I have wanted a Kelley O'Hara shirt for the longest time and I finally got my hands on one this year thanks to Foudy's. This was under £50 and I am so glad I have it, I know there was a lot of controversy around the team and they are no more but with O'Hara being one of my favourite players I knew it was time to have a shirt with her name on in my collection. Maybe a Washington Spirit one should be next. 

This is definitely my most recent purchase and is one I have looked forward to for the longest time. I remember watching Bradford City vs Fiorentina when I was little and then meeting the team after the game and they were fantastic and gave us some badges and key rings alongside some food. I have said for years I was going to get a Fiorentina shirt but it wasn't until I found this one for £25 on Classic Football Shirts that I finally took the plunge and purchased the shirt. I absolutely love this but I am definitely glad I sized up in it as it is certainly tight fitting. 

Another end of season sale pick up was the 2020/21 Bradford City home shirt which was just £15 I believe. With fans not being allowed to games for this season I will be honest I wasn't too bothered with getting the shirts but at £15 I couldn't really pass on it. It is actually a really nice shirt too so I am glad I have it in my collection. 

When I got the 2020.21 home shirt I also ended up with the third shirt and to say I normally avoid lighter coloured shirt I actually really like this one. It is definitely more of a silvery grey colour rather than white which makes it that bit better in my eyes and I think it looks much better this colour. 

Of course with me having the home and third shirt I had to add the away shirt to my collection. I absolutely love it when City have this colour kit and I think I will always make sure I purchase any in this colour, I just think they look great. I think this is my favourite out of the 3 City shirts for the 2020/21 season and it is definitely the one I wear the most. 

This Manchester United shirt is actually one of my favourites thanks to the collar and I already owned one which I got for my 16th with my own name on the back. However, this one has one of my favourite players on the back... Chicharito, my auntie actually got me this from a charity shop and it is definitely too big for me but I am so glad to have it in my collection with the name on the back and the badges on the sleeves. 

This purchase was actually for Liam as he had said in the past that he liked this Barcelona shirt, it was actually a birthday present for him and luckily he loved it. I actually got this off someone I follow on Instagram and it was brand new in bag with tags, to be honest I love it and wish I had got one for myself. 

I have another Bradford City 2020/21 home shirt in my collection as my dad one a competition through Bradford City Women that led to him receiving a shirt signed by the men's team which he very kindly gave to me. This is now pride of place on display with the rest of my signed shirts.  

Liam got us both a Secret Shirt Co. mystery box towards the end of the year and I think it is safe to say I have got a brilliant shirt out of my box. I ended up with the FC Utrecht shirt that I had seen on social media a fair bit and it is safe to say I am in love with it. It is such a nice looking shirt. 

I only have one of this seasons Bradford City shirts at the moment and to be honest I think I have picked my favourite one to start with. As I said earlier I normally avoid white shirts but I love this seasons home shirt with its retro vibe. Granted I do want to add a lot more to my collection including a goalkeeper shirt but I think this was the perfect one to start off with. 

When I got my home shirt I ended up getting Liam one of the seasons goalkeeper shirts and I actually wanted to keep this for myself. I am not usually a fan of goalkeeper shirts but Avec have done a great job with Bradford's this year plus with Liam playing in goal when he used to play I knew he would love this one. It actually looks too good to be a goalkeeper shirt and I think it would have looked good as an away one. 

It is safe to say I have added plenty more shirts to the collection in 2021 but I am determined to add even more in 2022 as there are plenty missing especially from this seasons shirt offerings. I need to get some more Bradford ones, PSG and there are a few others I am hoping to get in the end of season sales. Fingers crossed I can get all the ones I am wanting and I am sure 2022's shirt post will be even bigger than this one. 

What Is Going On At Manchester City Women This Season?


As a Manchester City Women's fan I have to admit this season so far has been terrible for me to watch, nothing just seems to be going right for the team and we have gone from fighting for the title and Champions League spots pre-pandemic to at the time of writing this being outside the top half of the table and way out of reach of first and second place. 

I was always quite critical of Nick Cushing and his team choices when he was in charge but honestly Gareth Taylor has already got me feeling that way with his selections, there are game changers who were brought in during the summer just sitting on the bench when they should really be on the pitch showing their worth and possibly helping us get the results we desperately need. We brought in some big names in the summer too with the likes of the Australians Kennedy & Raso who we all know can play some brilliant football, we also brought in the likes of Bunny Shaw & Ruby Mace yet we aren't giving Mace a real chance to show what she is made of. As for the rest of our signings we just don't seem to have had anyone really make their mark yet as they aren't getting a good run of games due to selection or injuries. 

Speaking of injuries it is no secret the club are missing some key players from the team due to injury and all season when you look at the players who City have had out injured it is quite scary to think of how influencial these players actually are in the team. Chloe Kelly is still out injured and we all know she can provide a real attacking threat and I think her injury has really effected City on the attacking front. Then you have Lucy Bronze & Steph Houghton out injured. We all know Steph has been a solid feature in the City defence and Bronze has played some brilliant games since her return to the club. You also have Karen Bardsley & Ellie Roebuck out injured, the two goalkeepers that no doubt Taylor would have loved to call on this season. Then again though with the rest of the names in the squad we really shouldn't be in the position we are currently in as the talent we have should still be challenging for the best results. It is going to be interesting to see what happens when all the players do start to return from injury though, are they going to fight to claw back some points or are they going to take time to settle back into the squad and are going to continue as the start of the season has been with poor performances still continuing. It is certainly going to be interesting to see if the club bring anyone else in during the next transfer window to try improve the squad and progress up the table. 

I think that all the Americans coming over last year also has had an effect on the performances this season too as last season we seemed to pin all our hopes on Lavelle, Mewis & Dahlkemper then once the NWSL restarted as expected they just went back over there. We did this with Lloyd before too, played her, lost our old regulars in her position and struggled for a bit after her departure. Yes it was great to have the World Cup winners at the club even for a short space of time but we should be looking at building for the future and keeping player rather than just giving game time when their league isn't active if they aren't going to stick around after as we just end up back to square one with weak spots in the squad. 

City at the moment to me just don't look like they are challenging the opposition enough and those we are playing against are spotting our weaknesses and attacking them as nothing seems to change week in week out. We look really weak against the big teams such as Chelsea and I think the latest result in that fixture just summed everything up. City even exited the Champions League in their first fixture whereas in previous years they have pushed to the later stages of the competition and I think their early exit just went to show how off pace with some of those big teams they are at the moment. Are other teams such as Manchester United, Brighton & Tottenham just catching up to teams like Manchester City and developing more as these teams seem to be doing so much better this season as opposed to previous ones or is it down to injuries and management that Manchester City just aren't getting the results they should be? Because something just doesn't seem to be going right for them at the moment. I really do think we are starting to see a shift in the women's game though with clubs who were normally written off at the start of the season putting up fights against the bigger teams and getting the results they deserve. I am glad we are seeing this bit of a shift though as it makes games and the season overall a bit more exciting as teams are having to battle it out rather than it being a one horse race all season. 

I really did have high hopes for this season and for us to challenge Chelsea once again to try beat them to the top spot but that really hasn't been the case at all and now I am just hoping we can finish in the top 4 for the season as I realistically don't think we are going to end up qualifying for the Champions League this time around. With how the first few months have gone I will just be happy if we finish in the top half of the table. 

What do you think to Manchester City's season so far? 

KeepHer Soccer Goalkeeping Gloves For Females : An Interview With The Owner


Women's football is certainly on the rise however, there are some areas of the game where women still struggle to feel included up until recently it has been hard for women to find boots that provide them the need they require to feel comfortable whilst playing and even football clothing for training and games that makes the female player feel more comfortable and confident. There does seem to be a few companies popping up now though that are catering more to the females players needs such as Miss Kick who are providing female fitting football clothing, one thing I never thought about though was goalkeeper gloves and how they might differ between the men and women playing but that all changed when I discovered KeepHer Soccer on Instagram, I started to see there was a need for women's goalkeeping gloves and I was lucky enough to as owner Doug a few questions about his company and why he ran with the idea of starting a company for female goalkeepers..

EOTA : So tell us a little about yourself Doug ?

KeepHer Soccer: I am a Dad of three daughters, married 31 year and love soccer! I live in Portland OR and grew up in a suburb of Chicago. I played soccer in college and then started coaching shortly after college.  I coached youth level for many years.  The last 5 years have been coaching at the high school level. I have my USSF “C” license and a masters degree in coaching and athletic education.

EOTA :  Where did the idea for Keep her Soccer come from? 

KeepHer Soccer: For along time I’ve been amazed at the type of specialty equipment that evolves in sports.  Different shoes for every type of game and condition.  There are different styles of equipment even within the same sport (such as baseball the first base glove is different from a catcher’s glove which is different from a fielders glove.

Then I started seeing how some things were different because of men and women.  My classic example is that of a jacket.  A men’s jacket is typically straight at the sides while a women’s jacket typically curves in a bit.  This shows up in sports and recreational gear all the time.

I also kept hearing from the girls in my house how they liked clothes that were fitted for their body shape rather than a man’s body shape.  They want the same quality, materials, function etc… but just something that fits them better.

I began to see how this shows up in various ways in sports and then some places where it is really lacking.

Specifically in soccer I saw female shoes and female uniforms which completely make sense.  But I never saw any goalkeeper gloves that were specifically made for females. 

I decided I’d do some research to see if there is an actual difference between men’s and women’s hands.  I found out that there is.

Then it really puzzled and bothered me that no one was addressing this issue.  I approached some companies and told them about my idea yet no one wanted to give it a shot. 

I decided if no one else would do it then I would!


EOTA:  Out of all the equipment that is used in the game why is there a focus on gloves rather than an item such as a boot or a clothing item? 


KeepHer Soccer :  For me it was the item that had yet to be addressed by any company.  Plus I have a passion for goalkeeping.  I played in college, my middle daughter played in college and I’ve coached goalkeeping for a long time.  Goalkeeper gloves were overlooked as an item that could be and should be changed because a female has a different need than a male.


EOTA :  What has been one of the highlights of being a part of shaping the game for women so far? 


KeepHer Soccer : Probably when I get feedback from goalkeepers who say something like “This is the best fitting glove I’ve every used.” 


EOTA :  What makes your gloves so different from those that can be generically bought from any store? 


KeepHer Soccer :  There are four main ways the hands differ:

1.       In males the thumb is typically shorter

2.       In males the index finger when compared with the ring finger is usually shorter.  In females the ring and index finger are about the same size

3.       In females the little finger is typically shorter.

4.       The average “hand index” is .44   This is the ratios of the hand width to length.  In males the hand index is higher resulting in a wider/broader hand.  In females it is less resulting in a more narrow hand.



EOTA :  Where do you see the company in the future? 

KeepHer Soccer : We have slowly been growing over the last four years and are on a path to keep progressing. We have a distributor in Australia and hope to find one in the UK. 



EOTA : Where can you buy the gloves from currently? 

KeepHer Soccer :  Mostly on line.  There are a few stores in the states that carry them


EOTA :  If you could give any advice to anyone wanting to create a product to either help women players or any players in generally what would you say? 

Keep Her Soccer :  This is difficult because there are so many things that come into play when developing a product.  Plan on start up cost being 2-3 times what you expect.  There are always unforeseen items that come into play once you’ve decided to move forward.  So make sure you have the funds to finish out the first wave.  It doesn’t have to be tens of thousands of dollars but you do need more than you first expect.

It is amazing to think that no one else seems to think that there is an issue with females having to play in male gloves due to the lack of availability from the big sporting brands but it is great to see what Keep Her Soccer is doing for the women's game. I think as the game continues to rise we are going to see more and more female goalkeepers wearing Keep Her Soccer gloves and let's hope they can break into more markets around the world in the near future. With the amazing designs they do I actually wish I was a goalkeeper as I think I would really be spoiled for choice when it came to purchasing from them. 

If you want to take a look at the sort of thing Keep Her Soccer do for yourself then you can find there website here or head on over to their Instagram