Football Injuries: The Risky, the Common, and the Hazardous

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For a lot of people, we forget how severe injuries can be for footballers. It’s easy to assume that due to professional footballers wages, injury can’t possibly be that much of an inconvenience – what we forget is that not all footballers are professional. For those that play football week in, week out for nothing more than their own love of the sport, injury can be a massive problem if you suffer an injury that hinders you from working for any period of time.

Many non-professional football enthusiasts partake in Sunday league and Amateur league football which is played in a league structure with fixtures against other clubs in their local leagues. It may not have the same popularity as professional football does – but it does come with the same risks.

The problem with lower league and amateur football is that if an injury does occur, it can become confusing when looking for medical assistance. As opposed to the top quality treatment you would receive should you be playing for one of football’s top clubs in the premier league.

Head injuries are one of the game’s most high profile issues since the 2014 FIFA Men’s World Cup, this is because of the scrutiny they have received upon how they should be treated. Football is not a delicate sport, despite the referee’s becoming more and more strict regarding the type of challenges that earn you a punishment, accidents still do happen. It is expected that head injuries are a danger of the support, however there is a debate on how to deal with them.

New rules state that the referee must stop the game if they believe that a player has suffered a head injury, even down to concussion. This is because even the least severe head injuries can quickly become severe if they are not treated properly. Claims can be made if you believe that you have not been treated correctly when suffering from a head injury.

Another common risk for footballers of all abilities is the risk of ligament damage. This can happen with little or no contact at all. One of the most well-known injuries that footballers can sustain is the cruciate ligament. The knee is made up of four ligaments, and the cruciate ligament is one of these. Damage to any ligament in your knees is going to cause discomfort. Ligament damage can have long term effects, such as arthritis later on in life if not treated correctly.

Of course, with contact sports come major injuries – such as broken bones. This is most likely to be one of the most hazardous aspects of the ‘beautiful game’ that we see commonly. It is just as common in non-professional football as it is professionally; it needs to be treated correctly and swiftly.

If the bone that is broken breaks the skin and tissue surrounding it, you can end up with a bad infection on top of the broken bone. To avoid this you need to find the correct treatment as quickly as possible to make sure no damage is caused in the long term.

Sunday league football can be fun, but you can come across people that will neglect your needs if you suffer from a footballing injury. This can mean you are eligible for a claim due to being treated with either negligence or malice.

Usually Sunday league pitches aren’t high standard, with the grass sometimes growing too long it can mean an increase in twisted ankles – and injuries. On the other hand, you might also come across competitors that will put in tackles that don’t get the ball, and deal a nasty injury to you. In these instances you would be eligible for legal action.

The repercussions of most injuries sustained throughout your career of playing football are likely to be very minor, maybe leaving you feeling discomfort for a couple of hours or days. However, you may suffer from a severe injury that could have an effect on your quality of life afterwards. Should this be the case, then it is likely you are legible for a case due to the fact you might be placed under financial strains because of the fact you can’t attend work for a period of time.

If this is the case there is legal help you can get from law firms like Thomson Snell & Passmore from Kent and Thames Gate.  There personal injury solicitors specialise in sports injuries and you can even arrange an meeting with on of their personal injury solicitors at their offices in Kent or Dartford for a free consultation and you can find out more on their personal injury page.


Written by Aedan Kiernan

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Three Ways to Sell Merchandise at a Football Tournament

One of the ways you can turn your tournament into a revenue-generating event is to sell your own merchandise.  Shirts and other souvenirs are items you can sell that will not only improve the memorability of your tournament, but also help finance the event.  However, it is also possible for the opposite to happen and selling merchandise could cost you money if you don’t do it right.

If you order a quantity of merchandise that is too high, you could end up on the hook for anything that doesn’t sell.  While this is always going to be a risk, it’s one that you can minimize by running your sales well.

Here are three ways that as a football tournament director, you can improve your merchandise profits.


1.  Sell Online and Allow Pre-Orders

With modern web applications you can fairly easily add a basic online store to your tournament or club website. You’ll need to have a basic design to show your prospective buyers, but you don’t need to have your full inventory ready yet.  This will allow all coaches, players, and any other visitors to pre-order any merchandise that they are interested in.

First and foremost this obviously gives you guaranteed revenue, but maybe more importantly it will give you a better indication of your demographics.  By learning about the most common sizes and what merchandise is most popular you can determine which items you need to stock up on the most.


2.  Contact Coaches of Registered Teams and Increase Visibility

As the football tournament director you probably already contact coaches before the tournament for various reasons, but do you ever mention merchandise?  Not only can you inform them if you have an online store up, but you can also ask them to send a quick email to team parents about your merchandise set-up at the tournament.

Secondly, make sure your merchandise booth at the tournament itself is highly visible.

Ideally it should be right beside the sign-in tent with easy to see signs.  There’s nothing worse than losing a customer who was planning to buy a few things before the tournament because they couldn’t find the booth.

Having a highly visible booth will also allow you to give directions beforehand easier.


3.  Run Team Specials

Just like any other retail store, running specials can help your revenue.  There are many things you can offer, but it’s up to your judgement to determine what will bring in the most revenue based on the wants of the visitors and the merchandise you have access to.

One popular tactic would be to give a team a free ball if they bought 10 or more t-shirts as a team. Another is to run a buy-two-get-one-free t-shirt deal so that a pair of parents with a child player will be tempted to buy the set for the family.


Concluding Remarks

You should spend a serious amount of time and effort on improving the sales of your tournament as the soccer tournament director. While the quality of the tournament is always the primary focus, realize that good merchandising can contribute to the experience for the registered teams.

Not only that, but more revenue will allow you to offer more tournament features in future events.


Written by Dale Cahill

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Top 10 British Sporting Cities

Britain truly is the home of organised sport, and her sporting influence is felt across the globe. Whether you’re a South American footballer, a North American golfer, an Indian cricketer, an Australasian Rugby star, or a Chinese snooker player, you owe it all to the sporting heritage of the UK.

This article aims to tap into the lucrative market of British sporting tourism. The ten featured cities range from the metropolis of London, to smaller destinations such as Preston and St. Andrews.



London is easily the UK’s largest city, so it not surprising that some of the nation’s most famous sporting venues are found here. The north London skyline is dominated by the newly refurbished Wembley Stadium, which plays host to international matches, and domestic cup finals, such as the F.A. Cup. In addition to the national arena, there are also a dozen league clubs to be found in and around London.

The English Rugby Union side also play their home games in North London, at the majestic Twickenham Stadium, with its 80,000 capacity. Tennis enthusiasts flock to the lawns of Wimbledon for a fortnight each summer, to view the oldest Grand Slam tournament.

Whilst the spiritual home of World Cricket is also to found in London, at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Finally, from 2012 onwards the sporting tourist will have the chance to visit the Olympic Stadium in the East End of the capital.



Whereas Aintree in Lancashire claims the Grand National, the town of Cheltenham holds the three-day racing festival that offers the tourist the best atmosphere of any Horse Racing event in the world.

This is due in part to the pleasant Cotswold Hills that overlook the Race Course, and the high standard of equestrianism, but above all the wave of Irish punters who flock annually to this elegant corner of England.

Every March the usually sleepy town is transformed into a home from home for thousands of Irish racing enthusiasts, even when there isn’t an Irish trained winner, the Guinness is sure to flow long into the night.



Rugby Union was invented in an English Public School almost two hundred years ago, but the spiritual home of British rugby is undoubtedly in South Wales. There are many proud ‘Rugger’ towns in the vicinity, but Cardiff is the site of the Millennium Stadium, with its retractable roof.

Built as a replacement for Cardiff Arms Park, the most hallowed of twentieth century rugby grounds, the Millennium Stadium represents not only the pastime of Wales, but also the regeneration of the Welsh capital.

The Millennium Stadium also hosted the English F.A. Cup between 2001 and 2007, during the renovation of Wembley Stadium.



The East Midlands city of Nottingham is the smallest English city with two football teams, Notts. County and Nottingham Forest, the latter having twice won the European Cup. The riverside stadium of Trent Bridge is a scenic venue for Test Match cricket.

In addition, the National Water Sports Centre is one of the most impressive leisure facilities in Britain. The fast-flowing artificially created rapids challenge Britain’s elite canoeists, kayakers, and white water rafters.

Whilst the two kilometre long Regatta Lake caters for the needs of Britain’s hugely successful Olympic rowing team.



Both Sheffield football teams, Wednesday and United have been crowned English champions, but perhaps the hilly Yorkshire city’s most famous sporting association is with snooker.

The Snooker World Championship is held every spring in Sheffield, in what is literally the most dramatic setting for any high profile sporting event, the Crucible Theatre.



Yorkshire is perhaps the proudest of all English cricketing counties, and there are few venues in the world that can match Headingly for nostalgia, and passionate support. Cricket is a way of life in Yorkshire, and until very recently only those born within the Four Ridings of Yorkshire could qualify for the county team.

The cricketing ground is next door to the home of Leeds Rhinos Rugby League Club, who have enjoyed recent successes that Leeds Football Club can only dream of.

However, despite its tenants falling on hard times, the footballing stadium of Elland Road still makes an impact on the visitor.



There’s more to Manchester than Old Trafford, though the home of Man. United does attract fans from around the World. Local rivals Manchester City also boast an impressive stadium, which was originally constructed for the Commonwealth Games of 2002.

In addition to the two large stadia that between them can hold 125,000 spectators, the city also hosts the Manchester Velodrome, one of the World’s premier cycling venues.

For fans of the oval ball, the rugby league towns of Salford, Wigan, and St. Helens are a just a short hop away.



The small Lancashire city of Preston has one major claim to fame, namely being the Mecca of world club football. Preston’s unparalleled footballing heritage, centres around the recently refurbished Deepdale stadium, home of the famous Preston North End Football Club.

Deepdale is the oldest professional football ground anywhere on Earth (football was first played here in 1880), and consequently the English F.A. chose as the site for the National History Museum, a must-see for football fanatics of any allegiance.

The Museum has an extensive collection of artefacts from the nineteenth century to the present day. There are also many interactive amusements for children, and the opportunity to view the hallowed turf of Deepdale itself.

Preston has excellent transport links due to it’s proximity to the M6, and the West Coast railway that connects the Midlands to Scotland.



Glasgow, not Edinburgh, is the footballing capital of Scotland, as testified by the majestic sight of Hampden Park. Hampden is the headquarters of the SFA, the second oldest football association in the World, and it also holds the Scottish Football Museum.

The rivalry between the two main Glaswegian teams, Celtic and Rangers is perhaps the fiercest in Europe. Rangers have won the Scottish League more times, but Celtic was the first British team to lift the European Cup back in 1967.

Both grounds are worth a visit; Celtic Park (Parkhead to traditionalists) is the bigger of the two, and holds over 60,000 supporters, however it lacks the red-bricked elegance of Rangers’ Ibrox Stadium.

In fact, Glasgow is the only European city that can claim three football venues with a capacity of over 50,000. However in the summer of 2014, football will for once take a back seat, as Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games.


St. Andrews

Scotland’s association with golf goes back many centuries, in fact it is said that Mary Queen of Scots enjoyed the game. Though the Fife town has a population of little more than 15,000, it is home to the world’s most famous golf club, the Royal and Ancient (founded in 1754), plus a dozen pristine golf courses in the vicinity of this historical university town.

The advantage of a trip to this seaside location, is that any party members who are not interested in golf, can enjoy the beach, or the rustic charm of St. Andrew’s many old buildings.


Written by Brian Heller

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Tips: Proper Fitting and Breaking in of Cleats

Not many things can spoil a soccer or football game quite like a blister from uncomfortable cleats. You should break in new cleats before you actually play in them — otherwise you might suffer painful consequences.

Treating your cleats with petroleum jelly can help break in and mold your new cleats to fit your feet properly.


Consider What Makes for a Proper Fit

A proper fit for athletic cleats means the shoes support your feet without causing any discomfort. Your toes should not be squeezed together in the front, nor should the cleat’s upper cause any irritation on your skin from rubbing. The cleat should be flexible and bend easily when you run.

If you feel discomfort or are getting blisters from your cleats after weeks of use, you should apply petroleum jelly on the surface to help soften them. If treating the cleats with jelly doesn’t help, you may need a different size or style of cleat.


Using Petroleum Jelly

If you have new cleats that are uncomfortable but want to play in them right away, you can expedite the breaking-in process by rubbing a small amount of petroleum jelly on them. Cover the entire cleat with a thin coating and work the jelly into the cleat with a clean towel or rag. The jelly helps soften the cleat and also encourages the shoe to mold to the shape of your foot.

You can reapply petroleum jelly to both leather and synthetic cleats over the span of several of weeks, until the cleats are soft and broken in to your liking.


Football Cleats

Most high-quality football cleats are made from leather. Leather cleats provide an unmatched feel and fit on your foot, and they tend to offer exceptional feedback when controlling the ball. Soft leather cleats are better than hard leather cleats in this regard, and they respond better to your movements.

They do not, however, last as long as hard leather cleats and typically need replacing on a regular basis, especially if they are consistently exposed to wet playing conditions.

Leather cleats break in quickly and easily with use and petroleum jelly treatment, while synthetic material cleats may take longer to break.


Other Uses

Besides treating your cleats with petroleum jelly, you can also apply some to your feet to help lessen the effects of irritation that new rigid cleats can cause. Put a thin coating on the upper part of your foot, in between your toes and around the heel and ankle to reduce the friction between your foot and the cleat. New cleats typically squeeze the toes together in the front, which can cause blisters.

Petroleum jelly in between the toes can help avoid blisters from forming. Use the jelly conservatively, however, or otherwise your feet may move around too much in your socks and cleats.


Written by Dan Harriman

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Football Tips: How proper nutrition helps a beginner turn into a future star

Most amateur football players recognize the value of dedicated work on the field. They understand that only through an incredible amount of practice and repetition can they transform from young beginners into future stars. As a result, it is not uncommon to find thousands of young football fanatics performing an impressive number of drills on the turf with the intention of becoming a better athlete. They also tend to actively seek out the aid of coaches and teammates to help improve their game. Yet, few of them recognize the importance of nutrition within the sport. In fact, a strong work ethic in the kitchen will often accelerate the improvements made from all the work on the grass.

Before explaining the benefits of proper nutrition, it is important to define what the term implies. Having a solid nutrition plan consists of a first consuming a healthy diet that is high protein in nature, with moderate fats and carbohydrates. The type and quality of the foods eaten is also crucial; organic and grass-fed meats are from healthy animals and thus provide better nourishment. Fresh fruits and vegetables deliver high levels of antioxidants to the bloodstream, which boost many of the everyday functions in the body.

But there are also certain categories of foods that should be avoided or minimized— these products may prove detrimental to an athlete’s progress in the long run. Most importantly, consumption of foods high in sugar and trans fat need to be monitored. Additionally, alcohol in the form of beer and liquor should be held to a two-drink daily maximum to maintain solid health. Usage of common sense will prove to be the most effective technique in the long run when deciding what and how much to consume.

There are a wide variety of reasons to emphasize how crucial proper nutrition is. The first significance is its effect on body composition. Like most sports, football is a brutal test of a youngster’s physical abilities. Powerful leg strength and speed, cardiovascular stamina, and flexibility are some of the traits found in these athletes. Eating a healthy diet consisting of a wide variety of lean meats, fruits, and vegetables encourages the improvement of one’s body composition.

When a football player’s muscle to body fat ratio is lowered, their fitness levels will increase in coordination. In addition, their overall health is improved. Another much neglected component of the sport is the psychological aspect. One’s concentration is sharpened within the player. If the football player is feeling great, he will have more confidence in his skills and thus be able to focus on the game with greater intent.

The importance of nutrition also runs on the cellular level. The thousands of yards run, hundreds of balls kicked, and numerous opponents battled with can be damaging to the cells of the human body. Proper nutrition with the intake of numerous necessary vitamins and minerals replenishes the body for future growth and repair. Making healthy eating choices gives the body the building blocks it needs to build muscle, strengthen bones, and heal overworked organs.

Of course, you cannot neglect proper hydration. Water is a huge component of adequate nutrition, especially for amateur football players. After spending hours performing tough physical activity in the hot sun, these athletes are the most at risk of succumbing to dehydration. Consequences of the condition range from sidelining a player for a few games to requiring hospitalization in extreme circumstances. It is recommended that an athlete drink about a gallon of water a day. Though this seems rather radical, amateur football players lose a lot more water during a regular day than average humans and thus should adjust their water intake accordingly.

Good nutrition, along with hard work on the field, will lead to success in the sport. Note that it is not difficult to eat healthier, and does not have to be time consuming. Rather than having burgers and fries at fast food restaurants, eat a salad. Precook lean meats and vegetables in bulk so you can quickly heat up meals.

In addition, take a multivitamin every morning with breakfast—it only takes a second. Adequate nourishment of the body will not only make one a better football player, but also a happier and healthier person.


Written by  Jun Zhang

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Football Betting Scheme: Outright Bet Accumulator

Football seasons throughout Europe all follow roughly the same schedule, beginning in August and finishing in May. The cold winter months are where the season really heats up. Whilst the English Premier League fills the festive season with a flurry of fixtures, winter breaks are the norm across Europe’s other major leagues. The transfer window is then thrown open throughout January, and by the team February rolls around, firm favourites are usually poised to take the silverware across Europe.

Placing an outright bet on the likes of Manchester United, AC Milan or Barcelona to win their domestic league won’t offer very attractive odds at the season’s outset, let alone when said team are sitting at the top of the table in January. But stringing together an accumulator with some of Europe’s most dominant league leaders can prove surprisingly lucrative.

On January 15th 2011, the English Premier League, Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga were indeed topped by Manchester United, AC Milan and Barcelona respectively. Whilst all were understandably odds-on favourites to close out the season champions, putting outright bets on all three in accumulator would’ve yielded odds of close to 5/1. And who closed out the 2010/11 season champions in Europe’s three most prestigious leagues? Yep – Manchester United, AC Milan and Barcelona.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to putting together an outright odds accumulator. A cursory January 15th glance at England’s next highest divisions during the 2010/2011 season, the Championship and Leagues One and Two, would’ve shown Queens Park Rangers, Brighton & Hove Albion and Chesterfield all sitting at the top of the league, with each side having a healthy lead over their nearest rivals.

What effect would putting these teams into an accumulator alongside the aforementioned Manchester, Milan and Barca trio have? It’d push the odds up from close to 5/1 to nearly 60/1. That’d mean a return of almost £600 for a £10 bet made on January 15th, with all six sides in your accumulator being heavy favourites to walk away with their league championships. And how did these three fare? QPR, Brighton and Chesterfield all held onto their leads and closed out the seasons as champions.

The main trouble with accumulators is that when you’re relying on lots of results, it becomes infinitely more likely that something somewhere is going to go awry. But outright betting on a team to win the league is overwhelmingly less risky than the outcome of any one game, where a controversial call from a referee or one missed chance can be the difference between victory and failure. Spreading that risk of the unexpected happening over multiple games will inevitably create a bet that is far more unstable than betting on a team’s total points accumulation over an entire season.

The example given only takes into account six leagues from the scores of leagues across Europe and around the world, virtually all of which will have produced a likely champion by the mid-way point. Stringing together an accumulator comprised of outright bets is an incredibly effective way of getting outrageously good for odds for what is essentially the most likely of all possible outcomes.

Mid-January is the magic point where, with the season half done, champions can be predicted with some degree of certainty, whilst there’s enough games left that the odds won’t have yet collapsed into minor fractions. As with any form of accumulator, there are plenty of things that could go wrong to scupper what seems like a sure thing.

Nevertheless, for the huge accumulated odds outright betting on title winners provides, this risk-to-reward ratio makes this type of bet a very attractive proposition.


Written by Tom Wilkins

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The Best Football Cleats for Men and Women

Playing football is all about how you control the ball with your feet while running. There are three elements at play - your feet, the ground, and the ball. To streamline their interaction, the single most important thing that a football player must own is a good pair of cleats.

Choosing the perfect pair of football cleats is difficult and there are several factors to consider. The two most important issues to think about when buying soccer cleats are comfort and the position you play in. Cleats help you to maintain balance and also improve your speed on the field.

Football cleats are different from shoes made for other sports. They are designed without outer soles and mid soles. They are designed to keep the center of gravity of the player low, thereby ensuring stability on the football field while running or stopping suddenly and changing direction.


Football Cleats for Men

This section of the report takes a look at the best men’s football cleats designed for comfort and performance.


Nike Hypervenom Phantom

Priced between $160 and $210, Nike’s Hypervenom Phantom are widely considered among the best football cleats that money can buy. They are designed for agility and are perfect for attacking players, though even defenders find them useful.

The boots mark the introduction of NikeSkin, a new material designed to give players a natural feel along their feet. It is remarkably light and thin enough to feel and control the ball through the material. The upper portion of the cleats have a greater surface area in contact with the ball and NikeSkin allows for better controlled shots.

Increased boot area is the result of a new lacing system, where the lace sits higher on the front of the cleat. It is designed using ACC technology which gives the wearer maximum ball control under diverse weather conditions. The configuration of studs is designed for agility and allows for quick and sudden changes in direction.

Nike Hypervenom Phantom football cleats provide good traction while swerving and prevent slipping and sliding. The football boots are extremely comfortable and the only serious complaint against the model is its lack of durability.


Adidas F50 adiZero

The adiZero is a model of football cleats designed for speed and is exclusively made for attacking players. It is not suited for defenders or goalkeepers. These cleats are the most secure football cleats for men. Priced from $165 to $240, the boots are extremely lightweight, even with the introduction of toe padding.

Breaking-in time is practically zero as the shoes are flexible and comfortable right out of the box. A new stud arrangement called SpeedTraxion provides maximum acceleration and precision during sudden swerves and direction changes. The studs are perfectly distributed and there is no pressure on the wearer’s foot.

The upper portions of these cleats are made of a hybrid skin called DribbleTex which is great for dribbling, but not good for striking. The boots fit snugly and are suitable for all football players except those looking for a wider fit.

The only drawback is a slight lack of comfort when worn over long periods.


Nike Mercurial Vapor IX

Nike Mercurial Vapor IX are the most comfortable boots with practically no breaking-in period required. Priced between $149 and $195 on, they are suitable for players in any position but work best for attackers.

The upper part is dimpled, and this greatly improves dribbling and adds speed to strikes. The boot is extremely flexible and allows for free movement. The blade design on the sole-plate is soft to prevent injury to other players. The boots themselves are the lightest that Nike has released and are designed for sudden and explosive bursts of speed.

Due to the thin nature of material used, the cleats have a shorter life-span but those who want a better feel and control of the ball are usually willing to accept this short-coming.


Football Cleats for Women

There are also many excellent models of football cleats for women, and in this section we’ll look at the most popular models.


Adidas Women’s Predator Instinct FG

These football cleats from Adidas are the most comfortable model available. They are ideal for defenders and central players, and are priced around $85 on Amazon.  Though they are heavy, the Adidas Predator Instinct FG allows smooth movement. The gel pad improves ball control while passing.

The rubber in the upper portion has a zig-zag design which offers great flexibility and extra traction on the ball. The new sole plate gives a player better control over fast movements. These cleats are highly resistant to stress and are waterproof.

They are for people with medium fit and are not suitable for those who want a wider fit and more space.


Nike Magista Opus iD

Nike Magista Opus iD football cleats are designed to protect women feet while offering great comfort during the game. This elegant footware is ideal for central and defensive players.

The cleats are comfortable and light, being padded nicely for protection. The upper part is meshed for flexibility and has a layer of KangaLite for added durability. Shoes are coated by NikeSkin for waterproofing.

These cleats are not good for striking and can be a bad choice for attacking players. The sole plate is very well balanced and pressure on the player’s foot is minimal.

Some wearers find that the boots are a little stiff compared to other shoes. Otherwise the Nike Magista Opus is perfect if you are looking for a simple and clean option without too many features. Prices start at $240.


Puma Evospeed

Puma Evospeed football cleats are designed for women who love speed on the football field. They are great for wing players and attackers. Despite being speed boots, they are well padded and feel comfortable during play. The sole plate is perfect for the intricacies of changing direction and altering speed.

Studs are arranged to provide acceleration in a very short time. The upper portion is not very flexible and has a layer of small projections to improve ball control while dribbling and striking.

The everfit cage is a nice touch as it greatly increases durability without compromising much on flexibility. The fit is good, but people with wide feet may have to buy a larger size.

The primary drawback is stiffness of both the upper part and the sole which takes some time to break in these cleats. The price is reasonable, starting at $25 going up to $45.


Written by Elena Williams

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Football Betting Tips: The 85th minute bet

If you place a correct score bet in the 85th minute of a football match, you’ll typically receive odds of 1 to 2. Let’s say that Chelsea are playing Manchester United. With 85 minutes gone, the score’s still 0-0. If you bet £10 on the score remaining 0-0 and you’re right, you’ll receive your £10 stake back plus £5.

Bookies aren’t stupid and the reason that you get these odds is because you’ll typically win and lose often enough to wind up losing more than you win if you place a correct score bet in the 85th minute. However, with a little bit of nous and initiative, you can quite easily beat the odds and make this a highly profitable strategy.

Score draws are amongst the safest games to try this strategy out on. If a game is tied 2-2 in the 85th minute, chances are that both teams will be content to pick up a point and won’t bother going all out for the winner.

The Manchester United v Chelsea example is actually one of the worst to place a bet on. The English Premier League is the most watched football competition on the planet for a reason - it’s wildly exciting and unpredictable, and there’s far more likely to be a last minute winner, or even several goals in the dying minutes, in the EPL than in most football leagues. Typically the lower the prestige of a league, the less likely teams are to be gung-ho about grabbing a last gasp winner. The strategy is generally a lot more likely to succeed in, say, the Danish second division than it is in the English Premier League.

If a team’s scored early on and have been going all out to protect that lead since the early part of the game, the 85th minute correct score bet becomes an especially attractive proposition. If their opponents haven’t managed to overturn the advantage by the 85th minute, are they really likely to pull it off in the dying moments?

There are extenuating circumstances which should ward you off placing one of these bets. If a red card’s recently been issued, or if some other major event has upset the balance of the game, you’ll probably be better off leaving it. If a team scores an equalizer around the 80th minute, they’ll probably be more likely to be pushing for a winner at the tail-end of a game than if a draw had looked a likely outcome since the start.

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule about not using this strategy for English Premier League games, especially when it concerns games like Manchester United v Chelsea. Top of the table teams are often happy to grind out a draw against each other rather than risk an important loss.

When Manchester City hosted their derby rivals United earlier in the 2010/11 season, Roberto Mancini never looked concerned with doing anything more than stopping United getting the full three points, while Alex Ferguson equally seemed to deem not losing to their fiercest rivals of far greater importance than going all out for a winner. In cases like this, when a game’s got draw written all over it, if nobody’s scored by the 85th minute, a 0-0 correct score bet is probably a fairly safe punt.

The key to making this strategy work is thinking it through. The most important thing is not to bet if you sense there may be more goals left in the game. The best way of using this strategy successfully is picking a low-scoring or fairly even game and then hoping that nothing dramatic occurs in the last few minutes.


Written by Tom Wilkins

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Football/Sports Tips: How to Effectively Communicate With Your Players

Communication is key in any sport, especially team ones such as rugby and football, where the success of the club depends on effective management of large pools of talent. Keeping track of the well-being, health and fitness of each individual player is essential to manage your resources and ensure that the group on the pitch is able to get the best results. It can also help you to avoid injury, overrunning certain players in the build up to important events, and overseeing opportunities as they arise.


Face-to-Face Communication

Whether you are training or giving the team a talk during half time, it can be difficult to get your message across clearly both to the team as a whole, and individuals who need specific advice or criticism. Especially during intense situations such as games, mistakes made by players can be frustrating for the coach and manager, but a negative approach to communication can only have adverse effects. In any situation, try to build a criticism into a compliment. Tell them what they were doing well, then how they can improve their game, and you are much more likely to get a positive response.

Listening is as important for coaches and managers as it is for the players. Instead of giving them a 5-minute talk on where they have gone wrong and how they could improve, get them more actively involved in the conversation. Ask them where they think things went wrong, and talk through their situation to come to a solution. By being approachable and willing to hear what the athletes themselves have to say, you might also be surprised at how many of them are perfectly capable of self-diagnosis, and ask for advice of their own accord.


Interacting off the Pitch

However much you might try to cover every base in the time spent with your players, you inevitably can’t keep track of each player at all times. Yet understanding their feelings and physical situation is crucial to effective team management, and a passing comment during training from a player might easily get lost in the pipeline. Equipping your players and your organisation with sports performance management software allows you to interact off the pitch.

Your players can fill in surveys on their performance and fitness, whilst you can co-ordinate their training and development remotely, accessible on mobile devices to fit around the busy lives of every member of the organisation. By doing so, you can secure on-going communication with your team, and make sure that everything is professionally tracked and recorded.

In a modern world where mobile technology offers the opportunity to interact any time, anywhere, as a sporting organisation or individual, communication on the pitch is only one half of the picture today. Investment in sports performance management software and makes interaction with your players easier and more effective. Combined with an approachable and positive style of coaching and management, you can get the best out of your team to watch the success speak for itself.


Article by Kelly Gilmour-Grassam, freelance copywriter from Yorkshire. Kelly loves the great outdoors, interesting places and fine foods. You can follow her on Twitter at @KellyGGrassam. This article is written with support from The Sports Office.

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Football Tips: So You Want To Be A Premiership Footballer?

Whether it’s scoring a winning Cup Final goal, or hoisting the World Cup over your head, you’re not alone in dreaming of a career as a football pro. You’ll need hours of practice, a very strong physique, and a thick skin to cope with constant rejection. Still think the Premiership is for you?


Getting Your Name Out There

Whether you’re attending football trials, talent days or joining an academy, most clubs have a vast network of contacts and leads that help them scout out the best young footballers in any given area.

Even if there isn’t a visible presence, you’ll almost certainly find that scouts are operating at matches all over the country, and even getting involved with community projects and school programmes.

In all but the most rural locations, if you’re good, you’re going to get head hunted.


Dealing With Rejection

The Premiership league is one of the most saturated in sport when it comes to potential new players. Every club has an academy, and over 9,000 young boys are vying for the coveted positions that the Schools Of Excellence offer the most gifted players. More than 90% of recruits will receive the devastating news that they just aren’t good enough for a career at the top of the game.

Before you even think about walking the long road to football fame, you absolutely must harden yourself to constant rejection. It can’t be said enough: There are a lot of young potential stars out there, and very few places to be filled.

You’ll never be rewarded for trying out, and dealing with the reality that you aren’t quite good enough can be a very hard (and often life defining) pill to swallow.


What Are The Talent Scouts Looking For?

It may come as surprise to some, but most scouts aren’t looking for raw talent. You’re going to need it, and in spades, but the people in the know are looking for something else too. Character.

Scouts who have their eye on a special player will often want to get to know them (and their family) before making any important decisions, and a talent scout rarely cares about the football games they are watching. Putting the ball in the back of the net matters very little to someone with a very special set of criteria in mind.

Scouts are more interested in a player’s position on the pitch, and whether they’re prepared to give 200%. Not just for themselves, but for their teammates too.


Where Do I Go From Here?

If you think you’ve got what it takes to succeed, you’ve got to give yourself the best possible chance of being spotted. You’ll need to quickly rise to the top of your school and local teams, then rapidly move on to a county or district club.

At the very least, you’ll need to represent your school at a county level. You stand a far greater chance of being noticed if you’re playing away from your home town regularly. It’s also imperative to make sure you’re not stagnating at a local club that can’t challenge your progress.

A career in football is going to require a Herculean effort and a mountain of skill, but every year, the fortunate few go on to greatness.


Written by Harry Price

Harry Price is a successful entrepreneur and bachelor. He spends his free time playing competitive poker and football. He also has a passion for volunteering with his local homeless shelter.

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