That feeling of celebrating in front of the supporters just looks amazing when you watch it on the small screen. I got a taste of what it feels like when I put on the Nike Hypervenom “Ice” edition at the Nike Football Training Centre in Klipspruit, Soweto.
I did not get the full experience of fans cheering me on, but I did have a small crowd of young boys who were passing by in their school uniform calling me “Thabo Qalinge”. Apparently I look like the Orlando Pirates player.
I was part of the “Ice” team with Kaizer Chiefs midfielder George Maluleka and my colleague Neville Khoza. As soon I put on the boot, I was impressed with how easy it was to slip on and I felt ready for action.
The boot is comfortable and allows for good ball control and acceleration, which helped in the drills we were doing on the day.
The first challenge we had was to run between the cones and then hit the ball with a first time shot towards goal. I felt sorry for the goalkeeper Mohammed because two of my powerfully hit shots were on target and one of them hit the back of the net, even though he got his fingertips on the ball.
The second challenge needed us to pick a spot after dribbling between the cones and, because I had a boot that felt so light, I got through the challenge like Speedy Gonzales and still managed to score once in my three attempts.
The third and final challenge was taking free kicks. I had never scored from a spot kick in my life but on that day the power of the Hypervenom gave me an opportunity to perform miracles.
On my final attempt, after the first three set pieces had been saved by the goalkeeper (okay one of them went wide of goal) I bent one in like a professional footballer. You should have seen the celebration I had with Maluleka, just like how they do it at Chiefs when one of the players score.
I was the only one in the Ice team that scored in every challenge, so it tells you just how great the Hypervenom Ice edition is.
KickOff.com brings you the Nike Fire & Ice Boot Guide. For the exciting new Nike range launched in November 2017, Kick Off journalists paired with Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana athletes, striker Bernard Parker and attacking midfielder George Maluleka, to put the Nike Fire & Ice range through its paces. Parker led #TeamFire and Maluleka led #TeamIce to see whether power (#TeamFire) or composure (#TeamIce) would win the day. Which team are you on?
Fire Challenge: Both sets of teams were put through a test of speed and power finishing. After sprinting around half-a-dozen cones, players laid the ball off to a teammate for a quick one-two and had to score with a powerful first-time shot past the goalkeeper from within the box. The team with the most goals won the challenge.
See video below...
Ice Challenge: Both sets of teams went through a test of ball control and finesse shooting. After controlling the ball through six strategically positioned cones, players had to lay the ball off to a teammate with his back towards goal and finish off the return ball past the goalkeeper. The team with the most goals won the challenge.
See video below...
Free-Kick Challenge: A favourite amongst most players, the Nike Fire & Ice Free-Kick Challenge required players to simply shoot past the goalkeeper from the edge of the box using box skill and power. The team with the most goals won the challenge.
See video below:
For more information on the Nike Fire & Ice range, please visit Nike.com/football
By: Tshepang Mailwane, Kick Off digital editor