On the eve of the A-League Grand Final Central Coast Mariners skipper Nick Montgomery shares with the PFA the product that he believes could help thousands of young footballers emulate the success of those on the pitch on Sunday and his plans for his new business.

For any young aspiring footballer, the ball going over the fence, through a window or breaking the fence is a common problem. When Montgomery was keeping up to date with his old Sheffield United teammate Kyle Walker, he came across the solution – the Open Goaaal product.

Open Goaaal is a white football goal net surrounded by a wall of black netting.  It hangs from two metal poles that are three metres high, and opens and closes just like a curtain. It’s completely made from ropes, netting and durable cord, which allows the goals to also act as a rebounder. You can open and close it from whichever pole suits your back yard, making it easy to cut the grass.

Used by world football stars Rio Ferdinand, Phil Jagielka, Luis Garcia, Darren Fletcher and Kyle Walker, Montgomery said the product allows for footballers to easily obtain the key element of improvement – repetition.

“It was completely by chance that I came across it,” said Montgomery of the product that takes just 45 minutes to assemble and is durable enough to withstand the most powerful shots from professional players. “I have been fortunate to play with some very good players in the past and Kyle Walker, I played with him at Sheffield United when he was a kid and I kept in touch with him and I saw a picture of it on his Instagram account, and he said he loved using it.”

“I thought that looks amazing and I messaged him and  spoke to him and he told me how amazing it was and how it stopped the ball flying all over the fence into next door’s garden and I found out a bit more about it and contacted the company and it turned out the guy was from Leeds and he was really familiar with me. We had a chat and I said I would really love to bring the product to Australia as I had so many friends that played with little goals in the garden and they were fed up with the ball going over the fence.

“He sent me one over and I was just blown away and everyone I showed it to was as well.”

After making contact with the supplier Montgomery then set about utilising the network he has built up on the Central Coast to assist in starting his business.

“I was pretty fortunate that I have a good friend who lives on the Central Coast who is in the distribution business and I sort of showed him, and he has two young boys. They tried it out and thought it was great and the boys were constantly playing with it. I decided to go into partnership with him and use his expertise. I also had a friend who builds websites, who again loved the product and he helped me to set up the website.”

Currently in the process of gaining his coaching qualifications, Montgomery said the PFA Player Development and Transition Program and the continued support of Player Development Manager Emily Figueroa had been invaluable in getting his business up and running.

“I spoke to Emily and told her my idea and she has been really supportive and has been great,” said 2015/16 Mariners Supporters Player of the Year. “The PFA is always there to help you and I think you are crazy if you don’t use them. The advice I have gotten from Emily was great and I’m also looking to use the PFA’s Business Builders Program and that will help me take the business to a new level.

“I also have the rights to the product both here and in New Zealand. Michael McGlinchey has endorsed the product; his son uses it and loves it. I’m hoping that I can grow the business quickly and help as many young players as possible to work on their game. It has taken six months to get the stock here and we are now ready to send out the pre orders.”

With the PFA’s members having ensured a hugely successful inaugural Indigenous Football Week, the former English Premier League player said he planned to donate goals to John Moriarty Football.

“The work of John Moriarty Football is inspiring. The goals I’m sure would be a great asset for them and I’m eager to help them build on the great work they are doing with Indigenous Australians.”

For more information on Open Goaaal go to Nick’s website: http://www.mpsports.com.au/