Guest Author - Alice Jones
Soccer X to the casual viewer is an online soccer related media channel which focuses primarily on grass roots, lower league and women's football from the Midlands area in England. In that regard alone it is a great site which contains some excellent and unique footage. It is however more just than a media channel, it represents and enhances the very essence of what football should be about – community.
It is not just that the members are ambitious and determined, which they are - aiming to be the ultimate Media Sports concept in their field. Through hard work and determination, and many miles travelled to film and promote the 'alternative' leagues, along with a solid commitment to forging ongoing links in the local community, the members and contributors of Soccer X are well on their way to achieving that goal.
The site itself is located at soccerx.co.uk and requires the standard media plug ins to watch. Once installed the portal features regularly updated media interviews and highlights of match coverage from the Soccer X team. This team has grown considerably since the concept was born 3 years ago to include several prominent former players; featuring up and coming sports journalists from local Universities and also an equity card holding actress, Julie Gimour recently joined the team.
Geoff Lines, the owner of the site says that he is expecting to grow Soccer X further this year after much positive feedback and is looking forward to showing a pilot episode of Soccer X TV on Sky in the near future.
If the pilot is picked up then Soccer X TV can certainly look forward to a bright future. It is perhaps a difficult market to get into, but I am convinced it is just a matter of time before the trust and integrity so important to the concept shines through and over time will bear fruits from their labours. The dedication of the team is admirable and XTV would be worthy of the opportunity to showcase their talents on a more focused stage.
The most interesting thing about Soccer X is that it is also something of a mission. Mr Lines - a former football manager at grass roots level now travels the length and breadth of the country to cover matches for Soccer TV, network with associates and raise money for charity and seems to relish the challenge.
Their mission statement reads:
“SOCCER X has always sought to help both the wider community, as in education, plus charity. We feel very strongly, that football can - and should - be used as a vehicle for good. “
To that end, Soccer X hold several fund-raisers each year for charity, last year raising £1000 for the Mental Health Charity with donations made from several players including a signed England shirt from England International Karen Carney. They also play charity matches to raise money for good causes. Last year Soccer X played WOLVES ALL STARS and raised close to a £1000 for the Brodey Centre Cancer Unit, in Banbury.
In terms of education, XTV has forged close links with Birmingham and Wolverhampton Universities, enabling media students to gain valuable work experience which will stand them in good stead for a potential future in journalism.
Geoff Lines says that he is keen to use the vehicle of Soccer X to help raise the profile of Women's Football in England.
“I'm something of a convert to the ladies' game.” Geoff says.
“ I really feel it's about to take off with the summer league launch in 2010.”
“I've been involved in men's football, played, managed for years.. but I just feel ladies football is a better spectacle. Not so athletic based as men's football and skill therefore is allowed to flourish“
Whilst women's football is the fastest growing female sport in this country, and the arrival of the Summer League in 2010 will only help women's football to grow further, there is a lot more still to do to help raise that profile to help it grow further so the commitment of Geoff and the Soccer X team is an admirable one. There are a number of interviews and match highlights available on the site including interviews with England internationals Karen Carney and Kelly Smith and more interviews are added all the time.
Soccer X were recently at Luton Town's Kenilworth Road filming a pop video for the club which is well known for it's financial troubles. Jane Ledsom an actress and singer – performed her new anthem titled: 'Thirty down to Zero'
The single has been released this month to help raise some much needed revenue for Luton Town and also for charity. All proceeds from sales will be divided between a nominated charity and the football club. The video can be seen on the website.
Soccer X TV can be found at soccerx.co.uk