With some clubs now restarting training in small groups within the Government and FA guidelines, it seemed as good a time as any to chat training wear with Paul Cartwright from our partners Premier Sports, to get the inside track on the new range available from Nike.
There is, without doubt, something a bit special about Nike training kit.
When I was coaching, my favourite item of clothing was a Nike training short - three quarter length, thick material and pockets, and they wore well, lasting me for a good five years, but I digress… One thing that Nike are excellent at is innovation and the modern coach is after slim fitting, lightweight functionality and they will get that with this season’s offering.
So, what stays? Both the Academy 18 and Women’s Academy 18 ranges are still in the catalogue and running for the rest of this year, which is good news if this is already your clubs’ range. However, be warned - do place orders early as stock will start to run down certainly by the third quarter.
Surprisingly, the Academy 19 range is also only running for one more year. A great range of garments but one of the reasons behind low sales is the colours. Personally, I like it, it appeals to the designer in me - marina blue, bright crimson and volt - but these are not club colours.
Also, still in place is the Lifestyle range. I love this range, even though it is not a big seller. I guess it is aimed more at off-field kit so great for universities or tour kit. If you’re looking for some casual wear, then the short (made from a French Terry fabric) and the pant (in a brushback fleece) are just peachy.
So, what is new? At the budget end, the Park 18 has received a remake to - yes, you’ve guessed it - the Park 20. This is a six-piece collection comprising of rain jacket, track jacket, crew top, polo, training tee and knit pant - basically all the layers you need.
What I like about the Park range is the reasonably wide colour palette - seven in total - and great if you want to wear a yellow or green kit which can be difficult to source. The design is basic, but functional and the key to this range is that it makes Nike affordable for grassroots clubs.
I’m not going to review the Women’s offering as that will be covered in the next of these reviews, but the new Academy Pro range - wow! Again, Nike have gone away from the traditional colour pallet - but see over that. If you are looking for something with a touch of class, and your on-field skills dictate you deserve the best - then this is the range for you. Six pieces in the collection include a short-sleeved training top, polo shirt, drill top, knit jacket, knit shorts and knit pant.
For the Academy Pro tops, the base colour is anthracite with the contrast colours black, green, blue and crimson. The training tee has a mesh stripe and back for breathability. The polo is made from a ribbed fabric giving it a premium feel and is easily my favourite piece from the collection. What is great is that both the shorts (no pockets?) and the track pant continue the colour theme, making you look Premier League.
So that’s it for Nike’s training range for 2020. Overall a solid collection, but just watch out for products coming to the end of their shelf life. One last thing, the bags have been refreshed for this season with a new style duffle and hardcase being added to the existing backpack and roller bag.
All of the above are available to order from Premier Sports - the Authorised Nike Retail partner for the Sussex County FA.
VISIT PREMIER SPORTS
For further information about the Nike product range available from Premier Sports please contact:
T: 0203 026 0640