Book Review: Anna Black – this girl can play by Texi Smith

Texi Smith has brought readers three books so far, Introducing Jarrod Black, Hospital Pass and Guilty Party, featuring the central character, successful fictional Socceroos player Jarrod Black. In his latest offering from his ‘unashamed football novel’ series Smith brings readers Anna Black – this girl can play, as we are introduced to Jarrod’s younger sister, Anna.

Whilst the Jarrod Black books are set predominantly in England and in real-time, the Anna Black story takes place mainly in Australia, and looks to the future with the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup at the heart of the plotlines, which incidentally will be hosted in two years’ time by the Antipodean neighbours of Australia and New Zealand.

Format-wise this book follows those of the first and third Jarrod Black stories, with fifty short sharp chapters keeping the readers attention and the action moving along at pace, as the football career of Anna unfolds. As with his other titles Smith displays his own love, knowledge and experience of the game through his writing with the plots and situations strong with their usual convincing credibility thanks to his research, aided by those who he acknowledges provided insight and guidance into the life of elite players in the women’s game down under.

Whilst this is a football-tale, Smith hasn’t been afraid in this book to touch on sexuality within women’s game and he deals with it in a sensitive manner, engendering a positive message about football being an inclusive game.

There is also a nod to how technology can be used in modern-day publishing with QR codes dotted throughout for the World Cup matches. It’s a nice touch and for those unable to access the codes a dedicated page on the web has been provided at

This book is undoubtedly a celebration of the women’s game and hopefully will be inspirational to young girls who want to take up the sport. Anna Black – this girl can play well Texi Smith – this boy can write.

[Note: The QR code that appears on page 206 should have sat between pages 215-216. This should be rectified in later copies of the book.]


(Popcorn Press. March 2021. Paperback: 254 pages)


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Posted July 13, 2021 by Editor in category "Reviews


  1. By James on

    Another cracking read in the Black family saga. A fast paced, entertaining story that keeps you hooked until the final page.
    Looking forward to the next book!!

  2. By Mark Bennett on

    Another smashing holiday read from Texi! A must read for any football fan especially ahead of the real life women’s world cup down under in 2023!
    Anna navigates some complex football and life decisions as we get the whirlwind tour of her rise to household name status!

  3. Pingback: Books and marketing – The home of Unashamed Football Novels

  4. By Simon on

    This is a cracking read and is book 4 in the series. If you have been following the women’s Olympics football and have been excited, you will love this book. As a dad, who loves his football and has a daughter who also plays football this book is a must read. The book is a journey of a talented footballer who dreams of representing her country at her home World Cup. It’s a book where you get an insight into the life of professional football. With women’s football on the rise this is such an enjoyable read. Anna Black remember the name, remember the number. Go Matildas!!!


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