It is a truth universally acknowledged that in order to be good at any sport, you need to practice.
The best way to practice your football game? Have some garden goals of course!
The best players didn't become as good as they are in a vacuum: they spent years in front of a football goal, learning tactics, honing their skills and progressing alongside other players before they became the Lionel Messis or Cristiano Ronaldos we know and love today.
Thankfully, we've picked out the best football goals that we could find, so you can rest assured that they are usable, durable, and will provide hours of fun, and not just for kids either! Typically, you'll be spending around £15-20 for smaller goals, and be aware that a goal post set is likely to be better value in the winter, because fewer people are clamouring for time spent exercising outside in the sun.
There are different types of football goal too, depending on your family's needs. Pop up goals are a great no-fuss solution, as they take mere seconds to assemble (the clue is in the name) and tend to be a good budget option, whereas brands like Forza and Samba are popular lightweight and weatherproof portable goal posts.
Think about the material you want your set of garden goals to be made of, too. If you're leaving the outside all year round, aluminium posts are best as they're rust proof and lightweight, but a UPVC goal post is also a good weatherproof option. Slightly thicker netting options (think around 5mm thickness) are also preferable, as the net is less likely to wear through. The FA also has regulations for the goal posts required for 11-a-side matches - but you shouldn't have to worry about that, unless you have a budding club player in the making who takes their football very seriously. That said, larger football goal posts will take up more space in your garden; a goal that's around 6-8 ft x 4 ft should be more than enough for primary school kids to enjoy.
Be aware, too, that many football goal posts have to be constructed by you, so you want something that isn't going to drive you mad every time you construct it. A folding portable goal tends to be the easiest, whereas locking goals are partially fitted, you just have to slot the bars into place so that the overall goal post is secure. Lightweight free standing goals have to be fitted together, and will stand in place anchored with ground pegs. These are obviously less portable.
Kidadl's Top Pick
We love all of the goal posts on this list, but if you're short on time this is our top pick based on the fact that they come from a trusted brand and offer a reliable and durable product.
1. Samba Locking Football Goals
It was a close call between a set of football goals from Samba or the equally popular Forza football goals, but we chose these as the top kids' football posts in the end. Samba have been manufacturing football goals in the UK for over 20 years, so their products are reliable, durable, and come with the stamp of approval, you have only to glance at a school football pitch and you'll likely see a set of Samba goal posts or two. This is a locking goal, which uses a Samba locking system in order to keep the frame together, even during the toughest matches and when facing the hardest shots. They also easily unlock too, just press the locking button down. Thicker corners ensure that these posts are super sturdy, and the nets are heavy duty so should not wear through. The frame itself is made of weatherproof UPVC which is durable but still lightweight enough to ensure these football goals are portable, and the whole set comes with ground anchors to secure the goal in place. Note that this particular football goal measures 6ft x 4ft and has a twelve month guarantee, but they should last for years.
- Price: £69.95
Best Forza Football Goal
2. FORZA Football Goal
As mentioned above, Forza is the rival brand to the equally popular Samba, so we had to include a Forza goal post on our list. This goal set also measures 6ft x 4ft, so is a great option for the garden. It's weatherproof and shatterproof, being made from sturdy UPVC, but is also lightweight enough to be okay to unlock and take down for storage. The locking system itself is very stable and strong, ensuring that the goals stand firm even against the most aggressive onslaught, which is a feature that other portable goals, especially those structured by sliding poles, lack. The net itself is also weather resistant and UV-treated, meaning it should stand the test of time and neither rot nor become sun damaged. It's also worth noting that, should you have issues with construction, both Forza (and Samba, above) have excellent UK-based customer service teams who can guide you through self-assembly, which also makes them a cut above the rest of competitors, who sometimes lack clear self-assembly guides.
- Price: From £39.99
Best Mini Football Goal
3. FORZA Mini Target Football Goal
We've gone for another set of Forza football goals, but this one is for younger players, as it measures at only 3ft x 2.5ft, so is perfect for littler legs still learning their way around a pitch. The reinforced UPVC ensures that this mini goal is indestructible but still lightweight and portable, and it's shatterproof, so won't become prey to any ricocheting balls. These kids' football goals can also be used on any playing surface, either indoors or outdoors, allowing keen players to practice their shooting and passing whatever the weather. (If you're indoors, maybe just make sure that all valuables have been safely hidden away from rogue kicks).
- Price: From £29.99
Best Quick Set Up Portable Goals
4. QUICKPLAY Kickster Academy Football Goal
The Kickster range was launched over 10 years ago, and has gone from strength to strength since. It's perfect for use either at home or on the training ground, and the football goals set up in a matter of minutes, which is great if your kids want some garden goals, but you're less keen on bulky frames taking up valuable green space. The goal packs down into a slim carry bag, so is ideal for taking with you to the park or on other outdoor adventures, and the pre-attached pole system makes for easy packing away. That does not make this goal flimsy, however: the patented high tension technology of the goal means that it instantly reforms to standard shape when hit by an oncoming ball, and the net itself has a shock absorbing bungee system in order to ensure it has as long a life as possible. Plus, the product has a year's warranty.
- Price: From £44.99
Best Football Goals For The Garden
5. Open Goaaal! Large Size
The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that these were featured on Dragons Den, and frankly we can see why. This is the perfect set of football goals for parents who are sick of losing footballs to neighbours' gardens. It both stops the ball from disappearing over the fence and rebounds them back at the kicker, so it helps with shooting skills, protects the fence, and stops players from having to apologise for yet another ball tossed into next door's garden. There are three sizes, so you can choose the best option for your garden.
- Price: From £169
Best Football Flick Goals
6. Football Flick Football Goal
These goals come in the smaller 6ft x 4ft size but are also available in full size (8ft x 6ft). They're made of UPVC so are lightweight, durable, but secure, and this set comes complete with ground pegs and net clips. The frame and net is UV treated, so as to be protected from sun and rot, and the football goals have reinforced corners so as to withstand even the punchiest strike.
- Price: From £53.99
Best Training Football Goal
7. Kickmaster 6 x 4ft Quick Assembly Football Training Goal
Obviously all of the listed football goals are great for training, but this one is particularly canny for players keen to place their strikes in the same place in the goal net, time and time again. It's a superb goal by which to improve accuracy thanks to the inbuilt target shots. It also works well as a two-in-one product. On the one side, players have a standard goal, so they can practice free kicks and penalties, and on the other side they switch modes, using the target shots as a way of perfecting their aim, or playing a scoring game against friends and teammates. The goal folds down into a carry case for easy storage and transportation, so would be great to take with you to the park or beach, and has ground pegs for windier days (or just for extra security).
- Price: £32.99
Best Coach Approved Pop Up Goal
8. BazookaGoal Original Solid Frame Pop Up Goal
Don't be fooled by the seemingly simple design, these football goals are actually the world's first solid frame pop up goal. It unfolds to measure 4ft x 2ft in only seconds with no assembly required thanks to internal springs and innovative design. The biggest appeal of this goal is how safe it is: the integrated spring-coil system ensures that the crossbar collapses when kids run into it, preventing potential injury. It folds away as easily as it pops up, and its net becomes its own carrying bag, weighing 5kg in total, which is light enough for kids to be able to carry it and set it up themselves. These goals are loved by coaches the world over, from Chelsea and Arsenal to Barcelona, and we can see why.
- Price: £99.99
Best For Families On A Budget
9. Baseline Pop Up Goal
Football goals, especially pop up goals, can tend to be on the pricier side, so these are the best value for money set we could find. No longer will kids have to use their jumpers for goalposts with this set, which comes in a compact zip bag to ensure easy transportation and will make any scrub of ground a great makeshift pitch thanks to its quick pop up structure.
- Price: £30
Best Folding Football Goal
10. QUICKPLAY Q-Fold Folding Football Goal
The Q-fold has a patent pending flexi-joint system that gives greater durability to the frame overall whilst reducing stress on the diagonal support poles (which is a typical drawback to other folding frames). The goal posts are weatherproof too, thanks to their UVPC construction, and are UV-protected, so should be able to withstand even the hottest sun. Ground pegs and net clips come as standard, and the latter have been redesigned to make it easier and quicker to attach the net to the goal frame. Best of all, the Q-fold frame folds flat for easy storage, which is perfect if your kids want something a bit more structured than a pop up goal, but you don't want a fully-fledged garden goal post. Simply remove the back bar and fold the side bars in. Easy.
- Price: £88.25
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for the best kids' goal posts and have super active children, why not also check out our list of the best kids boxing and sparring gloves? Boxing, after all, is a great way of expelling energy and staying fit. Or, if your kids are in need of somewhere to study, perhaps you'd be more inclined to read this pick of the best kids' desks.
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