Mark Taylor

Cambridge Independent

My three pieces of work hopefully demonstrate finding different angles from different levels of sport. It so happens that in this instance the articles are all about football, but two of the pieces are about women's football, and one with a focus on the pan-ability game.

The two pieces on women's football were written in the autumn/early winter of 2021, so long before England's success at the Women's Euro 2022 which I hope demonstrates a commitment to covering all aspects of sport. The back-page exclusive and inside feature on the fan-led review into football was taking an important national story, and providing an in-depth and thorough look into the findings from a local perspective through one of the leading contributors to the report. It was about much more than just taking the headline features, and we explored so many different aspects into so many different elements of the report, some of which had not been covered in as much detail in the wider domain. The story about Zoe Harvey shows what football can both mean and provide to people. It came about through an informal conversation with a contact, who mentioned Zoe's story in passing. It triggered intrigue and so I made contact with Zoe and John, and when we met one morning at Cambridge United's ground, the story was even more impressive and inspiring. The feature piece with Liz Pamplin was just through an awareness of Liz's work down the years with the club, and finding out that she had played a 500th game. It is only when you take the time to then talk through those years that it gives an insight into the progress of women's and girls' football, and what still needs to happen. Liz has seen a lot during those 500 games since starting out and, because of her profession, was also able to apply some different thoughts and views to where the sport is now. I hope that the three pieces are able to educate, entertain and inform, giving a greater insight into the game. During my time as a sports journalist, I have always tried to get away from the aspect of win, lose, draw reporting - where everything focuses on the build up to and the aftermath from weekend fixtures - and try to get behind the stories. I have chosen to submit these three pieces as I feel they are a good demonstration of my feature writing, and would standalone, hopefully even to non-football fans. The articles were all well received and generated a number of positive responses across social media.