Newcomer a match for any striker

A NEWCOMER from Suffolk is aiming to become a hit with the country's top football clubs. But it is not an up-and-coming young player hoping to make a mark, but an innovative new product from Beccles-based sports equipment company Mark Harrod Ltd.

A NEWCOMER from Suffolk is aiming to become a hit with the country's top football clubs.

But it is not an up-and-coming young player hoping to make a mark, but an innovative new product from Beccles-based sports equipment company Mark Harrod Ltd.

The NetLok device has been designed to fasten goalnets securely and safely, particularly on freestanding goals typically used on synthetic or academy pitches.

It consists of a trio of clips that slot into aluminium goalposts and crossbars and, unlike traditional net hooks, is designed to stay in place no matter how hard the shot.


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Company boss Mark Harrod said: “Traditional net hooks have always been a headache for groundsmen when using freestanding goals.

“They can twist and turn with every goal before finally falling off and creating an instant safety hazard. Finding and replacing them is a time consuming and frustrating task.”

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The company, all of whose equipment conforms to the latest British and European standards, is now planning to send out NetLoks, in team colours, to Premiership and Championship clubs in a bid to prove the device's potential.

Former Sheffield Wednesday forward David Hirst is credited with the game's fastest-ever shot, a 114mph effort which hit the bar in a game against Arsenal on September 16, 1996.

The fastest shot to test the back of the net is said to be a 97.9mph strike by David Beckham when scoring for Manchester United against Chelsea on February 22 1997.

However, Mr Harrod is confident that NetLok is up to the stiffest of tests.

“No matter what speed the ball hits the net, the NetLok ensures that the net stays firmly in place,” he said.

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