Fashion Forward: Victoria Park Vixens
As part of Nike’s campaign to launch the new Premier League Merlin ball, we collaborated with five teams who represent the different pillars of London’s grassroots football culture. To embody the spirit that The Ball Means More, we explored the real power of women’s football across the city via the incredible initiatives that will inspire the next generation of ballers. With a commitment to transforming lives, the ones changing the game might just be the ones who change the world.
It started as a blind date. 6 strangers on a pitch. They all met through Instagram, and the rest is history. Now the Victoria Park Vixens are a 3 team club and a force within female grass-roots football.
A team started out by members of ASOS, the Vixens have found that style and sport have more similarities than you may think. The two passions have not only given them confidence and the ability to foster a community spirit but it has also brought them together as friends for life.
Their aim was always to become the friendliest team in grass-roots football, something they have exceeded. Now they are a community for each and every player; the Vixens shirt has become one that is only ever worn with pride. They are a squad who are here to kick down the stereotypes; proving that women into fashion, can still be women into football. We spoke to Vixens captain Morgan Brennan to find out how the team continue to defy convention.
How would you describe the grass roots football scene across the capital?
I think the length and breadth of the teams across the capital gives a sense of community to an otherwise pretty transient space, constantly rushed and moving. It gives the girls on my team, at least, a place team to call their own in a chaotic city.
What inspired the formation of the club?
I had a strong desire to play again, but was intimidated to join an existing team with an established dynamic, so I thought fuck it, I’ll start my own. That way, everyone on the team is the new one, and we can build it together.
How much has your life changed since joining the club?
I have definitely felt more confident since forming Vixens and playing football again. It’s meeting new people and being dependent on a team, and them on you, that makes you feel more important and more confident in your ability and what you bring to something.
What’s the most important life lesson that you have learned in that time?
You’re never too busy to play football.
If you and your teammates didn’t have this team, how different do you think your lives will be?
I think football was the thing that was really missing for me since moving to London. I now feel less anxious in general and feel like I’ve made loads of new friends that I perhaps wouldn’t have found without football.
Off the pitch how do you continue to carry the Vixens ethos into your daily lives?
Commitment and not letting people down is definitely something that gets instilled into you playing in a football team, especially as the captain – I feel huge responsibility in never letting anyone down, ever.
What has been the greatest moment for you being part of the Vixens?
Our final match of the season was really great. Not only did we win, in the rain, with all our friends there, but it was a nice conclusion to what has been a crazy season of events and projects which we never saw coming. We finished the game with some beers and celebrated Vixens.
Do you think there is any barriers that football can’t break?
Not really, you know. Sure, there are some that haven’t been tested by football just yet. But I think it has the potential to open up conversations about topics at the very least, or use its platform to get people talking. Women’s players are a great example for that, especially what we have seen at the World Cup so far.
What does receiving a new ball – like the new Nike Merlin – mean to you?
A new ball is always super nostalgic and exciting. You always bounce it a few times with your hands and then just want to pelt it across the pitch. We will be having some serious goal scoring training with the new Nike Merlins.
When you look at the new ball, what does the football represent or signify to you?
The ball represents a more urban and grassroots style of football with its gravel style print. Which I guess makes it anyone’s football, you can kick it against your back garden wall, use it during a Vixens training match or put it in the centre of the pitch at the Premier League. It always has a home.
Pick up the Nike 2019/20 Premier League Merlin ball at Nike.com.