Almost two-thirds of local football teams turn up to regular practice sessions without proper training shirts, despite many clubs claiming they are both important and necessary.

A National Kit Survey conducted among more than 600 UK FA-affiliated football clubs found that 64.7% lack proper training tops for their players.

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However, the findings, from teamwear supplier Kitlocker, showed that shirts for use on the training field are considered important by 50% of all clubs. This was only topped by ‘rainwear’, which 73.1% of teams described as ‘necessary’.

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The reason for this lack of vital equipment was insufficient funds, with 40.1% of clubs saying they have trouble affording replacement kits.

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Mike Kent, co-founder of Kitlocker said: “It is a constant struggle for clubs to find the funds for a full kit and many teams have to go without essentials such as training wear. Even when a club is lucky enough to get their kit paid for by a sponsor, the funds generally only cover match day kit.”

As many as 77.8% of clubs said that ‘quality of kit’ was very important, but more than a third (38.8%) admitted to difficulties finding the style of kit they wanted within their budget range.

“Even when budgets are tight, teams prefer to invest in good quality, branded kits so they will stand up to wear and tear on the pitch, wash well and continue to look good for several seasons,” Mike added.

With most teams aiming to change their match kit every one to two years, this can be particularly difficult. Previous research has shown that a professional looking kit can increase team spirit and ultimately improve play.

Mike explains: “Team mentality is undoubtedly improved by a having a decent kit. This also applies to training wear, as players will be better equipped to refine skills and develop team tactics if they are warm, dry and comfortable during training.”

Further survey results

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