A football club can make do without quite a few things in their football inventory, but quality football nets and goals are absolutely essential. Not only do they need to be durable, they need to comply with regulations relating to size, fitting and fixtures.

Take a look at the options available right now, and you could be forgiven for being just a little confused. With so many football nets to choose from, which is best for your club? Well, you need to start your search by learning about the various options out there. Once you have a handle on the things to look out for, you can make some informed purchasing decisions.

At The Soccer Store, we want you to buy the football nets that are going to enhance the experience of your players. And with this in mind, we’ve put together a buying guide — complete with a few tips and some expert advice.

Take a quick look on The Soccer Store website, and you’ll see different types of netting. The type you choose should depend on how you want to fix your goal to the ground, as well as a few other issues.

The three types of football net are:

Standard — Standard nets are designed to hang from a S-bracket or stanchion. Quite often, these nets don’t require anything other than support pegs, and they’re designed for permanently-fixed goals.

Straight-backed — Straight-backed football nets don’t rely on a D-bracket or a top runback. Simply put, the net clips onto the goal frame, and is attached to the ground with anchors.

Box nets — Watch a Premier League match, and you’ll probably see box nets being used. They are attached directly to the main frame, but rather than hanging down from there, they are hoisted up by two supporting poles behind the goal. This creates a box shape that some say delivers more aesthetically pleasing goals.

Pay attention to the “netting grade”

When you begin searching for football nets, you might come across the term “netting grade”. In the simplest of terms, this usually means the thickness of the netting. The cheapest nets are usually the thinnest, and can be as thin as just 1.6mm. If you’re looking something akin to the netting used in the Premier League, you’ll need to choose a more robust option that is 5mm thick.

It’s important to buy quality when it comes to netting grades. In most cases, the thicker nets might be more expensive, but they’ll usually last a lot longer. As they say: buy cheap, buy twice. A good football net with a netting grade of between 3mm and 5mm should last you several years, and offers the best value for money over a long period of time.

Know your “twine types”

Football netting is made up of many different strands of fabric or plastic — or sometimes both. The “twine type” usually refers to the combination of materials used and the way each of the strands are woven together.

In Europe, most football nets are manufactured with polypropylene. This is because this type of plastic is particularly hard-wearing and weatherproof. The higher the quality, the longer it will last — which is crucial if your nets stay outside for several days or weeks at a time. For even more durability, look for nets made with high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is stronger and denser than standard polypropylene netting.

You will also come across knotted and braided nets. Knotted nets tend to be cheaper, and are perfectly acceptable for the amateur game. Professional football goals usually feature braided netting, however, which is woven together for extra strength and durability — and some say it looks better too.

Customised netting

A lot of professional football clubs now personalise their football nets with team colours. This is nothing more than a cosmetic feature, but it can add to the atmosphere of a home game. There are manufacturers that offer a customisation service, but expect to pay a hefty premium.

Football net accessories

So, you have your football goals, and you’ve chosen some thick, durable football nets. How do you attach one to the other? There are several options for attaching nets to goalposts, including net clips and velcro ties. If your goal is a freestanding model, you’ll need U-pegs to attach the net to the base. All of these options are usually adequate for the amateur or youth games.

For full-size, professional nets and football goals, the best fixing options include arrow net hooks, ground pegs and clips. If you buy a football net pack, you’ll usually get the most appropriate fixings, as well as a handy carry bag.

Take your time when shopping around for quality football nets. There are lots of options to choose from, made by dozens of respected manufacturers. Just remember: cheaper isn’t always the most cost-effective solution.