Twenty-five years ago, with football in Wales in the throes of major change, a group of fans launched their own magazine – “Welsh Football”.
Previous publications had been short-lived, but Welsh Football endured, and the national football magazine is now celebrating its silver anniversary.
We caught up with editor Dave Collins as he reflected on a quarter century of a publication dedicated to football in Wales.
“We set out to provide Welsh football with the coverage it deserved – even in 1991 it was largely overlooked by the mainstream press.
We obviously struck a chord with enough people, because our first issue sold out so quickly we needed to re-print, and there’s still a supportive readership 25 years on.”
In these publications, there are many insights to clubs and illustrative images of football grounds with fantastic scenery.
“They, like us, realise that there is so much to enjoy about football in Wales – and the magazine has always aimed to celebrate and show-case that, although of course, as an independent publication, we’re also able to speak out when an issue demands it”
The publishing landscape has changed dramatically since 1991, and Dave says the magazine has had to adapt.
“Technology has obviously changed the way we produce a print publication, but it has also changed the way people consume football information. The internet, social media, mobile communications – these didn’t exist in the early days of the magazine.
Now they deliver results, reports, news etc. virtually immediately – but predictions of the disappearance of print media were wide of the mark. I can remember being advised to switch from print to digital more than a decade ago – but the fact is that it’s turned out not to be an ‘either/or’ situation.
What people consume online is briefer, more transient, whereas for more reflective, analytical and researched features print still seems to be the preferred medium for a large number of readers. So while we’ve added online and social media channels, it’s more a question of playing to the strengths of each medium.
I’ve no doubt technology will continue to change how information is delivered and consumed – but for the time being demand is as strong today as it was 25 years ago for a periodical print magazine on football in Wales.”
Welsh Football is published eight times each season with a mixture of features, comment, history and analysis covering all levels of football in Wales from national team and Welsh Premier down to grassroots recreational level. It is sold at some Welsh grounds and in independent bookshops. Subscribers are guaranteed to receive each issue as soon as it’s published – for current subscription offers email email@example.com