Showing posts with label Football. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Football. Show all posts

Saturday 15 April 2023

(AD) The Messi Training System Foldable Goal - A Review

My son Riley has recently been participating in football sessions at school which he has really enjoyed being involved in. We are therefore always on the look out for games, aids or training equipment that can help him improve his soccer skills. When we were recently asked to try out the Messi Training System, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to help him with his target practice and enhance his sporting abilities, whilst also giving us the chance to have some family fun in the garden.

On opening the box we found 1 x Messi Foldable Goal, 1 x Messi Ball and a Pump. Assembling the product was a very simple process and it was also so easy to fold up and put away after we had finished playing. On first glance the goal appears very small and is 90cm in length, 61cm in height and 59cm in depth. However, the whole point of this goal is to improve accuracy and the compact sizing definitely helps with that. 

We tried practicing a few different skills and created our own games to play in order to enhance Riley's concentration and coordination. Firstly we played a game where we had to dribble the ball across the garden, then make an attempt on goal. We placed a marker on the grass and would move this back gradually so that we were eventually shooting from a few metres away.

The next skill we practiced was headers, which we all initially found quite challenging. This created plenty of laughter as the ball kept going in all directions, but after plenty of practice we each managed at least one goal which was loads of fun.

One of the main benefits of the Messi Training System, is its portability and the fact it can be folded up to be enjoyed anywhere. You can take it the beach or park which means you aren't limited to using this in just one space and you can carry on practising your skills wherever you may go.

Overall we found The Messi Training System to be a great way of improving accuracy and we love the fact that we can take it to the park or on holiday with us. It is a great way to encourage sport and fitness and can definitely help with football skills. It is suitable for ages 4+ and available to purchase now at Argos, Amazon and other toy retailers.

*Disclaimer - We were gifted The Messi Training System for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. All thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains Amazon affiliate links which means that I may receive a small commission should you choose to make a purchase after following a link. 

Tuesday 5 March 2019

UEFA Champions League Match Attax - Review & Competition

My son has collected Match Attax for several years now, accumulating quite an extensive collection of all his favourite football players. Like most children he loves to collect things, so with Match Attax currently being available at 'pocket money prices' he has been able to purchase packs regularly to help complete his teams. He also enjoys swapping his doubles with friends and it has been great to see him and his class mates help one another with their searches for some of the most wanted cards. At Christmas we also purchased the Match Attax advent calendar for him, which we found to be great value for money as there was a pack of cards behind every single door, which was a fabulous alternative to daily chocolate.

Ben was therefore delighted when we were recently sent a huge bundle of the recently released UEFA Champions League Match Attax. This not only scored me some mega brownie points, but also kept him quiet long enough for me to enjoy a cup of coffee, whilst he opened all of the packets. Definitely a win win situation for me!

The first item Ben opened was his Starter Pack, which with an RRP of only £5 seemed to offer great value for money. Inside there was a collection binder, the 2 player game mat, game rules, an online game code, 5 cards plus 1 limited edition card.

The binder is a great storage solution to ensure that all your cards are kept in the best condition and it is really easy to arrange the cards and place them inside. Ben decide to sort all his cards into teams first knowing that he quite a lot to open, before placing them in the binder afterwards. There are over 450 cards to collect, swap and play with, so he was also trying to keep count of how many he had, as well as placing any doubles to one side ready to trade.

He then began to open his Super Strikers Mega Tin which contained a fantastic 50 cards which consisted of:
  • 29 x regular cards
  • 5 x special foil cards
  • 15 x exclusive cards
  • 1 x Limited Edition Card
Some of his all time favourite players were in this pack and he continued sorting his cards into the corresponding teams. The Mega Tins have an RRP of £10 and are available in 4 different varieties which are Rising Stars, Title Winners, Super Strikers and Superstars and the tin also acts as great storage for keeping your cards safe. Ben uses the tins to keep his swaps in, so that he can carry them around easily when trading with friends.

Next he opened a Match Attax Mini Tin which has an RRP of £7. Ben really liked the mini tin as it is small enough to fit in his pocket, so he can keep his cards to hand whether for swapping or playing. It also helped that two of his favourite players were featured on the front of this tin, so it'll most likely become the tin that he uses the most. The mini tin contained a total of 42 cards which consisted of:
  • 36 x regular cards
  • 5 x special foil cards
  • 1 x Limited Edition card
Lastly he opened a multi pack which contained 5 packets of cards. His sister had also become interested by this point, so they both sat on his bed whilst opening the remaining packets. It was lovely watching them chat together as she asked Ben about who the players were and what he thought of them. She then asked him to explain the game to her and this ended up in them playing nicely together for well over an hour. He also shared some of his doubles with her and his younger brother Riley so that they could both start their own collection too, which I thought was a lovely gesture.

Once they had finished playing, I took a closer look at some of the cards, to see what kind of information each one provided. The two cards below are part of the new Pro Performance cards and they help you to identify the players who are the fastest or the most accurate passers in the UCL. As with all the Match Attax cards in the set, the player names are always clearly identified on the side, which is really useful if you come across a footballer you are less familiar with.

In the top right hand corner you will notice that there is a monetary value, as well as a series of scores for their skills, all of which come in useful when selecting your team for playing the game.

The aim of this two player game is to beat your opponent by scoring more goals, just like in a real match. The rules are easy to follow and understand which helps to make it a simple and fun game for children to enjoy.

Firstly you need to put your team together by selecting 11 players along with 3 substitutes, before laying them down in formation on the game mat which is pictured below. (If you don't have the game mat, then don't worry, you can still play). The first player is then determined by flipping a coin and choosing heads or tails. When selecting your team you should ensure that you adhere to both the formation and tournament rules.

Whoever goes first must choose an attacker or defender, with the opponent choosing the opposite. So for example if I was to select an attacker, then my opponent must select a defender. If your attack scores beat their defence, then you score and vice versa. You then keep the cards to one side so you can easily count the score. It really is easy, yet lots of fun to play and you simply continue with your players throughout the game. In the event of a draw, then no-one wins, so the chooser must make another selection.

Just like in a real game of football, you are able to choose a sub at any point in the game as well as being able to use a team boost card, both of which can improve your chances of winning. Once all the cards have been played, then you add up the score, congratulate the winner and play again!

Overall I would highly recommend Match Attax as a great fun trading card game that is available at affordable prices. The guide age for these products is 6+ which I would agree with, as I think this is a suitable age to be able to understand how to play the game correctly. However, I would not say that these collectables are limited to just children as I am sure that there are many teenagers and adults that would also enjoy to collect, swap and play with these cards as well. I think that both the mini tin and mega tin offer value for money and with individual packs also being available for only £1, it is possible to build up a collection at a cost and frequency that is suitable for you.

You can find out more about Topps and Match Attax by visiting their website or social media pages which can be found on the following channels:

Website -
Facebook -
Twitter - @myTopps
Instagram - @myTopps


Do you have a Match Attax fan in your family? Then why not enter our competition for the chance to win a fantastic bundle of goodies which includes:

1 x Mega Tin (RRP £10.00)
1 x Mini Tin (RRP £7.00)
1 x Starter Pack (RRP £5.00)
1 x Multi Pack (RRP £5.00)

For your chance to win, simply enter using the gleam form below and be sure to come back daily throughout March for some extra bonus entries. (Terms and Conditions can be found underneath). Good Luck!

UEFA Champions League Match Attax Competition

Terms and Conditions
  • There is 1 (one) prize of a UEFA Champions League Match Attax Bundle consisting of 1 x Mega Tin (RRP £10), 1 x Mini Tin (RRP £7), 1 x Starter Pack (RRP £5), 1 x Multi Pack (RRP £5.00). Contents of these packs vary and there is no guarantee that you will receive the same cards that my son did in the review images.
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition closes on Sunday 31st March 2019 at 23:59.
  • A winner shall be drawn within 7 days of the closing date and notified via email.
  • The winner will have 7 days to confirm their acceptance of the prize, before an alternative winner is drawn from the remaining eligible entries.
  • Once the winner has confirmed acceptance of the prize and provided their address details then the prize shall be posted out via a trackable delivery method within 14 days.
  • No bulk or third party entries.
  • Prize is as stated, is non-transferable and cannot be exchanged for a cash equivalent.
Disclaimer: We were provided with a bundle of Match Attax items for the purpose of writing an honest review of the products. All opinions and thoughts are my own unless stated otherwise.

Monday 14 September 2015

They Shoot, They Score!

My children have so many activities that they love to do, but two of their most popular ones are football and eating! So after racking our brains of how to keep them entertained for yet another rainy summers day, it seemed the perfect decision to combine these activities together and visit the new Cafe Football restaurant in Manchester, located within Hotel Football, right next to the Old Trafford football stadium.

The restaurant itself, is nicely presented, with numerous television screens so that you can keep upto date with all the football. We particularly loved the wallpaper by the seats that was like a recreation of the premier league sticker book entries.

The seats were comfy, and it has a great view overlooking the Old Trafford Stadium. On arrival we were warmly welcomed and seated, and the children were provided with their own menus which doubled up as activity sheets. I love it when restaurants and cafes do this as my daughter always gets quite flustered when ordering so when you can write on them she likes to tick off what she will be ordering to help her. They also featured a colouring sheet on the reverse and a wordsearch puzzle to keep kids entertained whilst waiting for their meal. The childrens menu is nicely laid out with easy to read text and graphics, and features a lovely selection of meals.

The waiter came over straight away, and was really friendly and chatty. It is always nice and welcoming when staff make an effort to talk to the kids. He seemed really enthusiastic and came across as loving his job which again just adds to the nice friendly atmosphere there. He took our drinks orders whilst we took some time to look over the menu and came back promptly with what can only be described as "the nicest milkshakes ever" according to the kids. They came presented in a small milk bottle, and the kids loved the quirkiness of them!

The main menu itself, is themed around football match favourites and features a lovely selection of meals to suit all tastes. I have fond memories of going to matches with my dad as a child, and we would always get a steak & kidney pudding and chips smothered in gravy. To my delight this was offered on the menu as Scholesys meal and so this was exactly what I ordered. The boys in the family opted for the burgers, which came nicely presented in ceramic versions of burger trays and my daughter went for the fish finger sandwich which she said was delicious.

My only very minor criticisms would be more in relation to their website as opposed to the actual restaurant. Firstly, there doesn't seem to be clear instructions as to wear to park. We drove around a few times before asking one of the Manchester United stewards who kindly directed us to a car park located across the road behind the adjacent Premier Inn hotel. If you are local and know the area then it is probably really easy to find, however having travelled from North Wales and not knowing the area well, we did have to drive round a couple of times in heavy traffic to find this.

Secondly the kids menu isn't featured on the website. I always like to plan ahead and see what is available in a restaurant beforehand and make sure that there are meals that my children will like and enjoy, in addition to getting a good idea as to how much it will cost. However in saying this, I would like to add that the social media team on facebook and twitter, along with the staff at the hotel & restaurant are very responsive to any queries and will quickly answer any questions you may have, and I am sure they would be more than happy to email a copy over if asked.

Unfortunately, we didn't have the chance to have a look around the hotel, so I cannot comment much on that, however I believe it has a rooftop pitch which my son would absolutely love, and based on our experience in the restaurant alone we will definitely be returning the next time we manage to get tickets to a match. My children have already been asking when we can go back for a meal, so when we do return we will aim to make a weekend of it!

For further information and to download the menus, The Cafe Football website can be found here.... Cafe Football

Our Top Tip....We visited at 12 noon on a non match day and it was reasonably quiet, however I can imagine that it would be very full in the evenings, weekends and on match days and would therefore recommend booking in advance where possible to avoid any disappointment.

I hope that you have enjoyed our review and should you have any questions then please feel free to add a comment below and I will be happy to assist as best I can. I would also love to hear comments from others who have visited the restaurant or stayed at the hotel, so please feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments.

Disclaimer. All opinions are my own and this review has been written based upon my own experience. I have not received any monetary payment in exchange for this review and it was written of my own accord to share information regarding our visit. Information was correct at time of visiting in August 2015 but is subject to change and I would always recommend visiting the restaurants own website for the most up to date information.