After receiving our exclusive invite from Nike, SoccerBible headed to the outskirts of Manchester to put the new Premier League Nike Total 90 Tracer football through its paces, with the help of three Premier League goalkeepers!
It's been a summer of controversy and debate surrounding footballs, so when the invite came from Nike to test out the new Premier League, La Liga and Serie A ball, we knew it was a chance to let our fans and the world know how the Tracer ball performs.
We arrived at a splendid country club, somewhere you imagine players go to relax and a setting truly worthy for the launch of the new Premier League football. As always, Nike were putting on a good show as the venue was decorated with their campaign imagery for the Nike Tracer ball titled 'Kill the Nil'.
After a brief introduction, one of Nike's top football guru's thoroughly briefed us on the technology and development that has gone into creating the Total 90 Tracer ball. The key message to come across was that Nike have strived to instill three qualities into the new ball – consistency, accuracy and touch. Reminding us that at the end of the day, the football is the most important piece of equipment on the pitch. Check here for our full review of the Nike Total 90 Tracer ball.
Next up on stage were the players Nike had chosen to take part in the play test, to offer their feedback. Nike opted for three English-based goalkeepers who had used the Jabulani ball at the World Cup for comparison; Thomas Sorensen, Tim Howard and Marcus Hahnemann. Unfortunately, as he was travelling from the Midlands the traffic wasn't kind to Sorensen who was running a bit late, so we forged ahead with Howard and Hahnemann, - two keepers we can't wait to share their insightful feedback, along with some great banter!
Next we moved out onto the pitch to really put the Nike Tracer ball through its paces, and as you can imagine with three Premier League players, there was a great atmosphere.
We did various passing, dribbling and shooting drills, putting the new
Premier League ball through a thorough SoccerBible play test, finding
out it's performance and giving an insight into what to expect for the
We then moved onto testing ourselves and the Tracer ball, against some of the finest goalkeepers in the land! The gathered selected media, including some of our celebrity SoccerBible friends from Football Punk and Match magazines, lined up to take shots in turn at Hahnemann, Sorensen and Howard. Like many football enthusiasts we were keen to see what sets professional players apart, just how much better than us regular players are they? Well, within five minutes the difference soon became apparent!
Shots were raining in left and right footed from every angle, and after
about 30 shots the goalkeepers were unbelievably yet to be beaten! But
you'll have to excuse some slight indulgence - we
did our fans proud as it was the
SoccerBible who broke the deadlock, finding the top left corner beyond
a rooted Thomas Sorensen!
To get their revenge the tables were turned, and the Premier League goalkeepers got the chance to shoot against various members of the media, and let's just say they weren't holding back!
After a thorough workout for the Nike T90 Tracer ball, we returned to the tranquil settings of the country club for some more player Q&A time. The outcome from the day was a widely held opinion by both players and media, that Nike have created a great ball for the Premier League.
The Tracer is packed with performance and durability technology, but ultimately and probably the most important fact is that when you strike the ball...it goes where you want!