Two of Carlisle Futsal Clubs most experienced coaches have been nominated for the top prize at the prestigious Sports Technology Awards 2018. Steven Doran and Carl Judge have been with the Club for several years now but away from their coaching roles with the Club the close friends have another hobby – designing and building their own gadgets.
The nomination for the award comes only 2 months after the pair discovered that they had been successful in their application to secure a patent on their latest product creation ‘The left footers Futsal Ball’. And with European retail giant Decathlon having already placed an initial order of 500 units it looks like big things are ahead.
Carl explains how he got the idea for the product ‘As inventors we are always on the look out for problems to solve, thats the first step in the creative process. In this particular instance I had overheard a conversation between Ste and the depot manager of Club sponsor Howdens Joinery Kingstown about how Ste reckons he would definitely have made it as a professional footballer if he hadn’t been left footed. He was talking about how he felt right footers had always had the advantage over him because everyone uses right footed balls. It got me thinking and I came up with the idea of a ball just for left footers, it seemed obvious but the best inventions usually are! Once I had the idea, it was down to Ste to develop the technology to put into the ball.’
The technology is a closely guarded secret but the brains behind it Steven Doran explains ‘Its not easy to describe the mechanics of it without going into great detail but in essence the technology allows the ball to defy the basic laws of physics. It will react in the opposite way to how it should when struck. This means a left footer can strike the ball like they normally would and it will travel as if a right footer has struck the ball.’
The pair struggled at first to find a manufacturer to take the product on, with most describing Futsal as too niche, specifically when the product only targets left footers but the friends decided to plough on, believing the technology could also be used in other sports, with left handed tennis balls and left handed basketballs just some of the ideas. They have invested several thousands of pounds of their own savings into the manufacturing process just to get the product to market. Carl said ‘As with all brand new products it can be difficult finding the right partners to get involved. We struggled initially to sell the idea and ended up having to go with a manufacturing company based in Ajax in Holland, Slooflipra Sporting Goods Ltd but we are really pleased to be working with them as they have opened up the door for our first order from Decathlon and now this award nomination, we have a lot to thank them for.’
The awards ceremony will take place on Saturday 3rd May 2018 at the Roundhouse, Camden, London and tickets can be bought online here.
Everyone from Carlisle Futsal Club is massively proud of you both and wish you all the luck!
*******THIS ONE WAS AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE**********
Hope you enjoyed!