top of page
Rearview of a Girl Soccer Player


When Anna Black started playing football as a child in the suburbs of Sydney, she just wanted to enjoy herself with friends. 


But it turned out she was good. Really good. 

While Anna carves out a career in the W-League, she also learns about life and love as she follows her football dreams, eventually running on to the pitch of Stadium Australia in the final of the 2023 World Cup. 

This is Texi Smith’s fourth ‘Unashamed Football Novel’, the previous three being about Anna’s brother, Jarrod Black. 





Texi Smith started his love affair with writing at a young age penning fictitious matchday programmes for his beloved Newcastle United. Although never having excelled at English in a school environment, there was one piece of writing in year 7 that his well-respected English teacher, Mr Boothroyd, singled out as 'masterful', giving Texi confidence, leading to some hi-octane high-speed match reports at university for the First XI football team. This culminated in his one and only accolade of Uni Journalist of the Year in 1995. He still has the trophy.


Further match report-writing seasons followed in Australia, capturing the essence of youth and senior games, most of which would never have been given any journalistic coverage whatsoever, before a successful two-year stint as newsletter editor for the highly regarded In Off The Post publication for the local football club. Much acclaim for his punchy writing style sowed the seed for a more substantial project, resulting in a three year stop-start writing process that produced his first novel, Introducing Jarrod Black.


Having grown up in a rural market town in the North East of England, a move to France opened his eyes and broadened his horizons. It was from there that circumstances took Texi to Australia, where those "two months to see if I like it", just prior to the Olympic Games in 2000 became the catalyst for permanent residency. 


No slouch on the football field, and a veteran of nine Sydney marathons, he now gets as much out of the game as a coach, manager and referee. Managing a busy IT consultancy, and having two wonderful kids with busy school lives does not lend itself to a life conducive to mediative hours and leisure. It does, however, give fuel for a good deal of observational writing in his spare time, which he has come to relish.

Check out Texi's personal blog here.



Popcorn Press is an imprint of Fair Play Publishing dedicated to providing a platform to writers of fiction books and shorter publications, for example, reporting, commentary and essays. In fact, something that can be read in the same time that it takes to watch a football match!  If you think you have something suitable for Popcorn Press, please email us and we'll follow up with you. ​

bottom of page