The Australian football community has overwhelmingly supported Leopold Method’s crowdfunding campaign to produce a quarterly print edition, with the publication exceeding its target of $21,500 by 19%, raising a total of $25,727.

Support for the campaign came from across a wide spectrum of the football community, including from football journalists from Fairfax, News Corp and SBS. Mark Rudan, Ray Gatt, Mariana Rudan, John Stensholt, Dom Bossi and David Zdrilic all pledged financial support.

A staggering 23% of the total funds were raised last Thursday, when the football community, club administrators and journalists publicly campaigned on social media.

“It was a surreal day. It all started with some Twitter banter between SBS’s Francis Awaritefe and Sydney FC board member Jamie Samaha,” said Leopold Method’s publisher Shaun Mooney. “Then you had the football community one-by-one publicly push the campaign, and then the pledges started rolling in.

“It’s quite humbling when you see some of the names within mainstream media and public football figures, not only help promote our campaign, but also put their money behind it. Even more so when you consider our beginnings as a bunch of bloggers who decided to collaborate only twenty months ago.”

Leopold Method was launched in December 2012 by Mooney, along with a group of like-minded writers. Within five months Leopold Method was finalist for 2013 FFDU ‘Football Website of the Year Award’, pitting it against SBS’s The World Game and FourFourTwo Australia. In 2014 the site was again a finalist for the same award.

Leopold Method’s publisher Shaun Mooney sees the support given by the football community and mainstream media as validation that the market wants a quality print journal.

“From the early days when we started, many kept saying that we should produce a print version. So we came up with this concept of the Quarterly Edition, set up the crowdfunding campaign to see if the public would back up their words with action, and they did.”

Contributors for the first edition will include newly appointed Leopold Method editor Joe Gorman, renowned football historian and author of A History of Football in Australia: A Game of Two Halves Roy Hay, award-winning writer Kate Cohen, respected academic Ian Syson, The Cairns Post sports writer Vince Rugari, as well as publisher Mooney.

The first edition will cover topics on regional football, coaching and development, Aboriginal football and a historical narrative of a migrant community football club in Sydney.

Hay will write on the history of Australia’s national cup competitions in the context of the newly launched FFA Cup, Cohen interviews Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou, and Gorman assesses the impact of Alessandro Del Piero’s time in Australia.

Leopold Method has employed the services of Sydney-based publishing agency Xou Creative to produce the Quarterly Edition. Australian-based artist Jamie Osborne has been commissioned to produce a pencil sketch artwork for the cover.

“The portrait for Issue 1 will be of Australia’s first true football marquee, and the man who inspires our name, Leopold Baumgartner”, said Mooney.

The Quarterly Edition is a cross between the world-renowned UK football publication The Blizzard and Australian current affairs journal Quarterly Essay. It will be more like a book than a magazine. The format for the Quarterly Edition will be slightly larger than trade paperback. Each edition will be approximately 160-pages in single column format.

Digital versions for each edition will also be available to purchase via iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Android and other formats.

Leopold Method’s Quarterly Edition will be launched in mid-November and pre-orders will commence in early October. It will be available via the publication’s website www.leopoldmethod.com.au.