From the Press box

Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

Putting the boot into fancy footwear

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Undoubtably, with the World’s best players appearing at the World Cup finals, boot makers will be clamouring to secure deals with the top stars to show off the latest multicoloured fancy boots to the world, leading to mass sales of those youngesters who want to emulate their players.

Those at academies need not take any notice of these coloured boots on show, as they are not welcome. Today Charlton have come out and spoken about their ban on coloured boots for their youth players. It’s not the first time they’ve been discussed in the press, in 2008 QPR coach Marc Bircham prevented the youngsters from wearing multicoloured footwear, stating one of the reasons as not wanting his players to “get too flash“.

You know however, that its quite an issue when the grandaddy of football gets involved. Sir Alex Ferguson banned youth players from representing Manchester United wearing anything other than black boots, although senior and reserve players have the choice of the boots they wear.

Some of it could be a case of discipline. Young players do not go through the rituals of old, which included cleaning senior players boots. Coloured boots could be seen as not taking the game seriously, and managers of these youth teams want to keep players heads firmly on the game, and not what fashion statement they can make.

Secondly, brightly coloured boots can make a player a target. If someone is standing out wearing luminous yellow, then they are easily targeted by the other side. It also makes them seem like “flash harries” if you will, and if they do not have the skills which back up the loud statement on the feet, it makes the player seem foolish, which also reflects on the club the player represents.

The more worrying factor about these modern boots is the ever increasing toe and foot injuries which appear to be occurring. The need for speed in the top leagues has lead to boots becoming ever lighter, but offering less protection for feet, leading to broken toes and feet bones. Young players emulating their heroes are at risk of long term injuries to their feet by not using boots with adequate padding and protection.

It seems a minor issue, but football boots should be fit for purpose: playing football. It is not a fashion show, and clubs who are paying the wages of these players have every right to prevent them using equipment which could ultimately damage their playing career.

Surely, noone other than Bendtner would want to wear these anyway?


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