Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton says he is happy with the new Premier League match ball, despite the latest design being more difficult to catch in wet conditions.
As Burnley prepare to get their season underway with the visit of Swansea on Saturday, Heaton has given his verdict on Nike’s new ball, the Ordem 4, which the England stopper has compared favourably to the matchball used at the European Championships.
Though the new ball brings its own challenges, Heaton says he prefers the Nike design to Adidas’s Euro 2016 offering, which keepers found difficult to handle due to its “random flight”.
He told The Independent: “After two weeks with it, you could see that it is a little bit greasier when it gets wet, which is never great as a goalkeeper,” Heaton said. “It is what it is and it’s something you can’t control.
“You try and get as used to it as possible — it’s your job to keep it out of the net and you find a way to do it.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good ball this season and there are no major issues, but there’s always something as a goalie that you look at and this year, it is a little bit greasy when it gets wet.”
“As keepers, we usually have a day where we say, ‘here we go again,’ but you quickly get your head around it.” he said. “I actually prefer this ball if I’m honest, I don’t know if I should say that, but I do.
“It flies a little bit truer, rather than the old random flight which other balls can do at times – certainly the Euro 2016 ball.
“That was one of the most difficult that I’ve worked with. If it doesn’t fly true, it’s difficult in goal.
“There are lots of these fine details and the Euros ball was all over the show. It makes it difficult, especially with the way players kick it these days and the power they generate.
“A lot of them try the wobble free-kick, but you just have to deal with it as best you can.”