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Welcome to the very first Index Scholar product review!
With British summer in full swing, it’s a great time to have a casual kick about with friends and family. And what better place to have one than in the comfort of your own back garden?
In this mammoth article I’m going on a detour from the usual Football Index debate as I’ll be looking at the best garden football goals that you can buy for your garden and the general outdoors in 2020.
I’ll cover the entire goal post spectrum from all angles, sharing my thoughts on things like pricing, portability, ease of set up and a number of other factors that may have an influence on a person’s buying decision.
There’s not many better feelings than being able to replicate – or at least have multiple attempts to replicate – Wayne Rooney’s incredible bicycle kick against Manchester City, or Zinedine Zidane’s composed panenka penalty in the FIFA World Cup final.
But before delving deeper into the list of the best garden football goals, it’s imperative to talk about a few things.
What to Consider When Buying a Garden Football Goal
Before you make a conscious purchase decision, you’ll want to make sure that you settle on a product that suits your particular needs.
The best goal is the one that best suits your needs as a consumer. For those with a limited knowledge of what to look for, here are a couple of pointers that will hopefully set you in the right direction.
When it comes to the material of goal posts, aluminium is the most widely used across the world because this material is not only durable, but it is light too.
More so, aluminium does not rust as aluminium alloys lack the presence of iron which is usually the catalyst for the rusting process.
However, steel is said to be even more durable than aluminium, and they are widely regarded as more suitable for use cases that involve misuse (i.e. being climbed or hung on), which in the case of football, are events that occur on a fairly regular basis.
On the other hand, unplasticized polyvinyl chloride (UPVC) goals have gained considerable traction in the market due to the fact that they are cheap to manufacture – a benefit that is also passed on to the consumer – as well as the fact that they can be folded, which makes transportation easier.
Will your football games be limited to casual kick abouts with a small group of friends? Or will you be playing in full on adult matches with referees, linesmen and all that extra jazz?
The room you’ve got available for the goals to sit in will likely dictate what size of goal that you will look to purchase.
The Football Association classified goal size by the age of the playing group:
There are also different types of goals that, as a buyer, you should be conscious of:
- Free standing – goals that are able to stand up right on the ground without any form of additional support
- Socketed – goals that slot into sockets or sleeves that have been concreted into place below ground level
Best All Rounder: FORZA 6’ x 4’ Football Goal (Locking Model)
The FORZA 6’ x 4’ goal posts provide some of the best value for money on the garden football goal market. Not only are these goals easy to assemble as set up only takes a matter of minutes, but in addition to this, the process of taking them apart is quite straightforward as well.
Their durability and sturdiness are other redeeming qualities, as the frames of this model are shatterproof having been made from reinforced un-plasticised polyvinyl chloride (Upvc) – a material often used for pipework and window frames.
The goal frames are also secured using FORZA’s innovative button locking system, which aids the overall strength and stability of the goal structure along with offering exceptional resistance to the forceful impact of well struck footballs.
It’s also safe to say you can leave these goals outside all year round and come rain or shine as they are 100% weatherproof too.
The goal posts are also accompanied by net clips, ground anchor pegs and a 2mm HDPE net which has been treated for ultra violet rays for maximum protection against sunlight damage and rotting.
Our top choice overall.
Best Premium Option: Mark Harrod 24′ x 8′ 11-A-Side Professional Goal
If you’re after a premium option, look no further than this masterpiece from Mark Harrod.
Mark Harrod supplies goals to numerous Premier League teams and these free standing goals are perfect for someone looking for the ultimate match day experience.
The goal comes complete with netting, UEFA specified back supports and wheels on each edge, making it trivially easy to move around. It can also be used on any surface be it grass, concrete or astro turf.
Best Budget Option: Denny International Dual Mini Goals
For those not looking to spend a pretty penny, these goals are a great match.
For starters, they are very easy for parents or young adults to set up.
The package comes equipped with pegs, an air pump, a football, blue pipes to build the goal structure and even yellow and red cards for those that love to referee!
However, these goals are not very sturdy and may struggle to withstand constant impact especially from the more older kids. But for the price, you can’t really go wrong with these as they do the job.
Best Reviewed Option: Samba Sports Football Goal
You can’t go wrong with Samba goals.
Samba have been manufacturing football goals in the United Kingdom for the past 20 years so they definitely know a thing or two about build quality.
They were in fact the pioneers of the portable football goal product range and they continue to be at the forefront of this market segment.
They are four different sizes for this range:
- 6ft x 4ft
- 8ft x 4ft
- 8ft x 6ft
- 12ft x 6ft
Any size in this range comes complete with a goal set that includes a frame, rot proof net, as well as net clips and ground anchors to keep the structure firmly in place.
The goals also come equipped with a “samba locking system” similar to that of the FORZA model.
What’s most impressive however, is the fact that 97% of 670 reviewers on Amazon gave this model a rating of 4 stars or higher!
Best Option for Coaching: Bazooka Original Solid Frame Pop Up Goal
A dream for football coaches worldwide.
Bazooka pop up goals are in fact recommended by Norwegian FA as the official match goal for 6 year olds. With practically no assembly needed, they can be set up within seconds.
It’s a portable goal that doesn’t require further weighing or pegging and it is able to withstand blustering winds and sharp ball strikes.
This pop up goal is ideal for use in a wide variety of football situations, be it at professional club training sessions, small-sided games, training in the back garden or casual pick-up games in the street or at the park.
These goals feature a patented telescoping design that allows for super easy transportation and storage as the pop up goals are fully foldable.
Best Pop Up Goal: FORZA Flash Pop Up Football Goal (Sold As Pair)
What’s really nifty about these pop up goals are the reflective mesh netting on the backside and on the strips. The vibrance of the colour makes these suitable for training in low light, ultimately making them ideal for use during evening training sessions.
These goals come in three sizes:
- 2.5 feet
- 4 feet
- 6 feet
When it comes to assembly, you’re looking at a piece of cake, and despite their fibreglass frame they are extremely lightweight in nature, which allows for easy transportation on the go.
At the end of the day when it comes to a hotly contested game of football, the team with the most goals scored wins.
A great way to improve your ability to score goals in the most difficult of in-game scenarios is to get on the training pitch and get started on target practice.
Back in high school when I was a little more nimble I was renowned for the accuracy of my shooting. I attributed this accuracy to the pick up games that I used to play so frequently over the weekends and on the school holidays.
However, these weren’t your typical 5 aside kickabouts where you had jumpers for goals. We used brick-shaped stones for goals instead!
You heard that right!
For a goal to count, you had to hit a single stone that was the size and shape of a brick, which was much more difficult than slotting the ball between two metal posts or between two jumpers.
So if you’re looking to improve your shooting accuracy, look no further than the product below…
Best Option for Target Practice: Kickmaster 2 In 1 Fold Away Pop Up Goal
On one side of these goals you’ve got 4 or 5 different holes which can be used as practice for slotting the ball into.
In addition to this, the other side features a more conventional mini goal which you can use just as well.
The small size of these goals aids their portability and indoor use, and makes target practice that little bit harder but more rewarding as a whole.
On the other hand, if you’re looking at a slightly larger alternative for target practice, I highly recommend the FORZA PVC Football Goal With Pro Football Target.
Best Portable Option: QUICKPLAY Kickster Academy Ultra Portable Football Goal
What makes football such a special game is that it can be played virtually anywhere. From the lush green pitches in Europe to the favelas of Brazil, a football game can take place in different cultural settings yet it remains the same universally.
This is what makes Kickster’s football goals an absolute snip.
Their patented flexi-post design allows them to be set up in as little as 90 seconds and their ultra-portability means that they can literally be taken anywhere, making them more than ideal for use in the local park, family outings and countryside trips.
And unlike other goals, their poles come pre-attached which simplifies the set up and take down process immeasurably and reduces the chances of misplacing the tiny bits and bobs that often come with it.
Now playing football in the confines of your back garden can sometimes present a bit of a conundrum. bBack when I was a little younger I not so fondly remember having to restrain myself from going full pelt with my shooting as I didn’t want any wayward shots to go over the fence and into the neighbour’s compound.
So if you’re weary of having to ring up your neighbours every time you fire one into “row z”, then this next option is just for you!
Best Rebounder Goal: Open Goaaal! 16′ x 7′ with Surrounding Net
This goal post is probably every young striker’s dream!
It features a protective netting that surrounds the actual goal which is 10 feet high and up to 29 feet wide, thereby rebounding those wayward shots and ultimately saving someone a trip to the neighbours or over the back fence to collect the ball.
There are four sizes to choose from:
- My First
It’s important to note that these goals are only really ideal for installation on natural grass; not soil, concrete or astro turf. More so, once installed, they can be moved but portability is certainly not their strong suit as they are not really built for repeated moving of location.
Best Mini Goal: FORZA Mini Target Football Goal
If you’ve got space constraints when it comes to your playing area, don’t worry because you are in luck!
FORZA do an outstanding job of producing quality goals and they’ve raised the bar higher with these beauties. The goal features very thick reinforced Upvc posts meaning they are great for withstanding shots struck with plenty of venom.
Portability is not an issue and the goal also comes fitted with a white net, as well as the option to add a garden football with your purchase.
So that brings me to the end of this product roundup! If you liked the recommendations, feel free to share this article on social media.
And remember, the best garden football goal is not necessarily the most expensive one or the best looking one, it’s the one that best suits your own specific needs.