Have you been reading Unusual Efforts since their launch on April 1? The website, co-founded by 7500 to Holte co-founder Kirsten Schlewitz, is devoted to giving women opportunities in football journalism, which by itself would be enough of a reason to support their work.
But the good news is that aside from their admirable mission, Unusual Efforts are putting out absolutely fantastic work right now. I wanted to feature a couple of stories as a way of reminding you that if you haven't supported the site's IndieGoGo campaign yet, you still can. At least you can until 11:59 PM Pacific time on Friday, April 15 when the campaign closes. As a special bonus to their perks, if you donate (or tweet with @UnusualEfforts in the tweet) before the campaign closes, you'll be entered into a drawing for a special prize!
As for that incredible work I mentioned, I want to point you to two pieces with 7500 to Holte connections. Kirsten obviously wrote for (and founded, and put up with) our little corner of the Aston Villa internet, and her first piece was exactly what we've come to expect: a paean to the magic of tiny footballers. It's the cheeky, fun, and acutely intelligent writing that we know Kirsten excels at. To wit:
"Oftentimes these tiny men do have big qualities, though. Perhaps not Barry Bannan, but others. There's a reason that clubs are giving more chances to players without the typical athlete's physique, and no, it's not because they've read Moneyball. Smaller players tend to have more control over their bodies, so while it may look as though they'll be trampled on by enormous centerbacks, it's also likely they'll manage to change direction and dart out of the way. From there they can slip into a pocket of space, getting in a shot or the perfect pass. And if they commit a foul along the way, they're much less likely to hear the whistle, because their tininess makes them look harmless!"
Also featured in the first salvo of stories from Unusual Efforts was an incredible piece by Liz Owen, who briefly covered the Aston Villa Ladies for our site. At UE, though, she's taking a look at one of England's most unusual derbies:
"The perfect script for an English derby rarely varies. An atmosphere thick with hatred engulfs the crowd as the players contest a full-blooded war, desperate to get one over the old enemy. The very thought of failing to claim the bragging rights is unfathomable.
On the surface, Squires Gate versus AFC Blackpool looks to follow that script...
But Squires Gate and AFC Blackpool have flipped the script. Rather than a rivalry, the friendship between the two clubs is so strong they actually share their fans with each other, so connected that a stalemate was seen as the ideal outcome from their Easter Monday clash."
It's a thrilling read that gives a glimpse into the world of non-league football that so many of us remain unaware of despite the fact that it's the most played type of football in England.
And it's work like this, accompanied by fantastic art, and all created by women that makes Unusual Efforts a must-read. If you haven't yet, consider donating to help them out, but whatever you do, make sure to bookmark the site. You'll become a regular in no time.