Article by Tom Lodziak
As well as playing table tennis with my 9-year-old son, we also play football. A lot of football. He is football obsessed. We play inside the house, in the garden and at the park. He now plays for a team, so there is more football than ever.
Over the years, we have spent a lot of time playing football in the nearby park. We use jumpers for goalposts and take it in turns to be goalkeeper. It’s nice to spend quality time with my son and help him develop his football skills. But there is one thing which neither of us are keen about…
Fetching. The. Ball.
If one of us scores with a powerful shot, then the other one has to go and fetch the ball. I would estimate half of our playing time is spent fetching the ball from 10, 20 or 30 metres away. This has bugged me for years. If only we had a proper goal, with a net, then our football kickabouts would be so much more pleasurable.
After one particularly bad football session, where I must have let in a lot of goals, I decided enough was enough. There must be a solution for this.
I opened my laptop and started searching. I needed something portable. Something I could carry or put in the back of my car. I needed something which was easy to set up and take down. I needed something which was robust and could handle a powerful shot.
To my surprise, I quickly found a product which sounded too good to be true. The Quickplay Kickster Elite Football Goal.
It met all my requirements. Portable? Yes. Easy to set up? Yes. Can handle a bit of power? Yes.
Hmm…I’m not usually an impulsive buyer, but I was desperate to stop fetching the ball from 30 metres behind the goal. So I clicked ‘Buy’. Five days later the goal arrived.
I don’t normally do specific product reviews, but I feel really strongly about the Quickplay Kickster Elite Football Goal, so I want to share my experience and hopefully this will help you to make a decision too. Before I start my review, here’s a short video from Quickplay about the football goal…
If you watched the video, I’m sure you’ll agree the goal looks pretty impressive. But is it as good as the video suggests? Well I have been using the goal for a few weeks and here is my review…
The complete goal, including the frame and the net, can be packed neatly into a thin long bag. This bag has a strap, so you can carry it on your shoulder. Our park is a 10 minute walk from our house. The bag is medium weight – not really light, but not really heavy either. It is comfortable for me to walk the bag on my shoulder for 10 minutes. Sometimes if we take a bag of balls, we drive to the park. In this instance the bag sits easily in the boot.
Goal set up
The first time I set up the goal it took me about 10 minutes. I carefully unpacked the bag and examined the instructions. Then I slowly put the goal together, and then undid it, because I thought I had it back to front (which is impossible!). Eventually I set it up. But honestly, I think this initial attempt was me just being stupid. I have set up the goal lots of times now and it really does only take 2-3 minutes. I get faster every time. First connect the frame. Then insert the poles. Then attach the net. Then put in the pegs. Job done. The goal does come with four ball clips to connect the net to the frame, but I don’t use these now as the pegs keep the net in position absolutely fine.
My biggest concern was that a lightweight goal like this would collapse or fall over when we shoot with a bit of power. This has not happened. It hasn’t even nearly happened. I can kick the ball as hard as I want and the goal does not budge. The metal frame at the bottom is actually really strong and the weight distribution of the poles / frame and tension of the net makes it feel very stable. The frame is secured into the ground with four pegs. I actually bought extra pegs, as I thought I may need them, but no. The four pegs provided are enough to secure to the ground. We can kick the ball as hard as we want and the goal stays in position.
Packing the goal away is just as easy as putting it up. It only takes me 2-3 minutes to pack it away. The trickiest bit is net net. I actually use a separate bag to wrap the net in and then put the net into the carrier bag. This keeps the net tidy and prevents it getting tangled with the polls. When at home, I put the bagged goal in the shed, which leaves the garden uncluttered.
In addition to all of the above, the biggest positive for me is the added satisfaction when we play. There is something very pleasurable about having a goal with a net – the sound of the ball hitting the net and the visual delight of seeing the net bulge from the force of the shot. Plus there are no arguments about whether the ball hit the post or was over, which is typical when you have jumpers for goalposts. And the best bit? We don’t have to walk or run 30 metres to fetch the ball when someone scores.
From my perspective, I really can’t think of any downsides. It’s a really clever design and works brilliantly. I asked my son what he thought. His only negative was that the posts and crossbar were not the same as a metal frame. He likes it when the ball clatters the post or crossbar and then goes in. But this is a very minor negative. Of course, if the post and crossbar were metal, it would no longer be a lightweight portable goal!
We have been using the goal for our kickabouts at the park – three times per week for the past month. The goal is as stable as the first use. I imagine we will get a lot more use from the goal in the future. But this goal could be used for so much more than a father and son kickabout. I really could be used for any football training – juniors or adults. All you need is some grass and then pitch up your goal.
We purchased the 12 ft x 6 ft sized goal. This is roughly the size that juniors use in the league matches. It’s a great size for kickabouts – not too large and not too small. But other sizes are available too. Here are the links to purchase…
In summary, this is a brilliant goal. I just wished I had purchased it much sooner!