Many schools and clubs across the country base their purchase of footballs on brand and price. Having a preference for a particular brand, such as Mitre is not uncommon; if you find a brand you like and are happy with the quality then why not. By buying on price though you may actually be wasting money on footballs which are not fit for the type of play they are being used for.
Training footballs do not do the same job as a match quality football and it should not be assumed that you will get the same performance out of both. There are 4 quality bands that can be applied to footballs
The Professional quality balls are designed to deliver high levels of performance and are used in pro and semi-pro matches across the country. They have a more consistent flight path and offer the user increased accuracy, control and power. These balls will have a higher quality bladder but may release air over a period of time to protect the life of the ball. This is not a fault and is designed to increase performance. The outer cover is usually constructed from the highest quality PU material including Ducksung PU. They have been tested to the highest level and often have the FIFA Quality Pro stamp on them. Match balls use higher rebound materials and often use a different panel configuration. This gives the player greater control and offers extra power and improved accuracy.
The Match quality balls are designed for use in clubs and schools in all levels of the game and are suitable for all age groups. They also perform well and offer the player good levels of flight accuracy, control and power. These balls should only be used in matches as they are more expensive than training balls and will not last as long if used in training. The bladder and quality of cover is of a higher quality than that of a training ball. The bladder in a match ball is a high quality High Air Retention design and many of the balls are constructed with a PU outer cover which is a grade lower than that used on the Pro balls. Most have been tested and would either have the FIFA Quality stamp for the better match balls or the IMS quality stamp for medium quality match balls.
The Training quality balls are designed to withstand many hours of use in rigorous training sessions. The consistency of flight is less than that on a match ball but is more durable and will last a lot longer than many of the more expensive balls. To make the training balls more durable the construction of the ball would use cheaper materials which would have a higher content of rubber. They also have foam backings which provide a soft feel to develop control and skill. They are designed to be low maintenance and use high air retention bladders. The bladder would still be a high quality one but may be slightly thicker, as the ball would withstand more use and be exposed to extreme temperatures throughout the year. In most cases these balls would not go through a FIFA test and will not carry a quality stamp of approval
The Recreational quality balls are designed for use at home and are usually a combination of pvc and rubber materials for the outer surface. They are a lot cheaper than traditional training balls and will not last as long if used in club and schools football
Our suggestion would be to use training balls for training and invest in a couple of good quality match balls and keep these exclusively for matches.