Today we’re talking to Jed Woodcock, founder of Box to Box Football who’s here to explain why print is not dead (despite the rumours), why 2002 will always have a special place in his heart and of course, the beautiful game.
#1. So, what’s your favourite word?
#2. What gets you up in the morning?
My alarm at 07:17.
#3. Precise. We like that. What do you truly, honestly think of social media?
Brilliant. We would have never had readers (or contributors) from Brazil, Israel, Australia, Japan and Saudi Arabia without it!
#4. Global domination it is then. Kindles or books?
Books, without a doubt. Nothing beats the smell of a freshly opened book or magazine. As long as we can’t embed the smell and feel of print into digital copies, print won’t die.
#5. Hear hear. What do you think is the biggest challenge to your industry right now?
Print dying. But in the way vinyl is making a comeback – this January saw a 25-year high in record sales – I could see print, and magazines in particular, doing a similar thing. That might be the optimist in me, but if print does die for good, it won’t be due to a shortage of great magazines.
When you look at the quality of independent football magazines out there, from the likes of Pickles, Mundial, When Saturday Comes, The Football Pink and dare I say, Box To Box, we are living at a time when the quality and selection of magazines is unparalleled in football media.
#6. True dat. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Before I fell in love with football in the World Cup summer of 2002, my dream was to become a zookeeper.
#7. We have a wannabe Dr Doolittle in our midst. What led you to your current career?
I can pinpoint what led me down my current career path to one exact moment. The instant I fell irreversibly in love with football, when İlhan Mansız scored a 94th-minute golden goal against Senegal to take Turkey through to the 2002 World Cup semi-finals.
#8. Can you use your favourite word in a sentence?
Regardless of who’s playing, I always seem to find myself rooting for the underdog.
#9. Now can you make it rhyme?
Not really – but I can try. (Ed’s note: please do)
“As QPR faced Chelsea they were definitely the underdog,
Bobby Zamora’s shot flew high above the crossbar through rain, thunder, fog.”
#10. You did it. What advice would you give to your younger self?
I am my younger self.
#11. *Feels impressed and ancient all at once* What’s the best thing anyone’s ever done for you?
All the writers, editors and illustrators who have taken the time to contribute to this fantastic project that is Box To Box. Without them, this whole thing wouldn’t be possible.
#12. Tell us, what’s been your ‘career-defining’ moment?
I don’t think I have had my ‘career-defining’ moment yet, but every new issue we bring out is a new pinnacle for me.
#13. If you won a big award of some kind, who would you thank?
Four people in particular. Joe Proctor and Ollie Marsh, my left and right-hand men respectively, Amber Marsh, for supporting and putting up with me and my Dad for helping me fall in love with not only the beautiful game, but the underdog.
#14. Can you give us a timesaver of the day?
Brush your teeth in the shower.
#15. We’re hearing that a lot. Where do you see your industry in 24 months?
Hopefully thriving, or at least improving. It would be great to see a move away from the constant clickbait surrounding football media and see more quality work – online and in print.
#16. Totally agree. Where were you 24 months ago?
Delivering pizza on the west coast of Wales (whilst studying for my Sports Science degree).
#17. Make ours a stuffed crust. Actually, please don’t. What’s an interesting fact about your company?
Christian Fuchs follows us on Twitter!
#18. Boooooom. If you could have a 24-minute Skype chat with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
#19. What’s one word you’d want people to describe you with?
#20. Would you mind taking a selfie for us?
#21. What’s your favourite Twitter handle or social media campaign?
At the moment, it would have to be Urban Goals on Twitter – a stirring memento of lost youth and nostalgic street football. On Instagram, it would have to be Le Ballon Football League – arguably the best amateur football league in the world.
#22. We won’t argue with that. What’s one quote that defines your work ethic?
“Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute”.
#23. Spoken like a true journo. What’s been the best part of your day?
Breakfast in bed with a Golden Doodle snoring next to me.
#24. Finally, anything to plug?
Our latest and fourth issue takes inspiration from its Netflix namesake, Stranger Things, looking at the most absurd stories from the world of football. It’s available in our online store at www.boxtoboxfootball.bigcartel.com and you won’t regret it if you buy one!