Former player and renowned football boot designer Craig Johnston has claimed that superstar footballers are being put at risk as not enough research is being under taken in to stud technology.
Craig Johnston – arguably the first Aussie to have an impact on the English game
49 year old Johnston made his name in the game as a player for Middlesbrough and then Liverpool. On retirement, he and Simon Skirrow (now owner of Nomis) set about designing a revolutionary new football boot, and came up with the Predator for adidas.
Now, having had an advisory role in this years Footy Boots Awards, he has pitched in to the debate of player safety by refuting certain claims that boots are now less safe than they have been in the past.
Indeed, Johnston says a number of injuries are caused because modern day foot wear offers too much protection.
Speaking to Footy Boots, Johnston said:
A lot of players have been injured over the last four or five years because of their equipment and because of the quality of the pitches.
There’s been David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and even Michael Owen, just to name three.
Before 2002, most of us thought metatarsal was a cheap, Greek brandy
People say that the boots don’t provide enough protection. In fact the opposite is true. The problem is that the boots are so well made there is no give at all in the materials – especially the cheaper synthetics.
The pitches are now so well maintained and even woven with synthetic materials that the players’ studs engage like they should do but they don’t release enough, causing injury.
Also, the studs are far too long and give far too much grip.
This little piggy went to market, this little piggy had surgery after a bad tackle
Something has to give and in this day and age it is the ligaments and the metatarsals that are giving way – not the boots, the studs or the grass of the new-generation pitches.
I would make a call to the big brands and manufacturers and just say to them: please, for the safety and well-being of all footballers of all abilities, put a bit of research and development money behind the concept of stud release.