POWER OF THE ULTIMAX
Tyrone Mings is a unit of an athlete and with it comes his calming and grounded nature. As he steps into a cold studio in Birmingham, the room which has been prepared with a bag full of Mitre’s latest release Ultimax range, he eases, and warms.
At Mitre, the vision is – and always has been – to produce the best and most durable football’s to be played across different pitches and surfaces around the globe. In the U.K, the 29-year-old Aston Villa centre-half represents that to a tee.
Having spent time in Southampton’s academy whilst playing junior grassroots football, his rise from the muddy pitches of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division right through to the magical carpets of the Premier League, Tyrone is an inspiration to many.
Of the same generation, between two players plying their trade 12 leagues apart, we take a moment of reflection.
“It’s certainly been a staple in my lifetime and football career. It’s a generational thing. Mitre has always been there. It has been really important for me in my development for football and in particular looking back to my childhood.
To pick up the new Ultimax range, you know when you roll it around in your hands and feel its firmness, if it passes the initial test. It immediately makes you want to stop what you’re doing and get down the field.”
“You always know a good ball like this as soon as it comes out the bag. You can tell by the feel. Just as I remember playing with the Ultimax back in the day, it’s a proper solid ball. Such as things are with the ball, the advancement in technology, the panelling you see here, the lack of stitching. The durability remains.”
“Power is and has never been an issue with the Mitre Ultimax. I love it. I’m a purist so its natural, I love the colours. This is an impressive ball. It certainly stands out.”
Power, and that of mentality, is something we go on to discuss. Currently there is a huge drop off in grassroots football for teams U13-16. Aside from his training and enjoying a game of golf, Mings runs his own football programme based around ‘enjoyment and confidence’.
Mings message: always back yourself, always believe in yourself, never give up.
“It’s a tough one. It’s a by-product of the society that we live in. Everyone wants instant success, don’t they? Social media content, its all getting shorter from Tik-Toks to Instagram reels. Everything is catering for the sort of person that demands it now.” Mings says.
“When you look at any football organisation, team, programme that wants success. Getting to the top in football is not an overnight thing. It takes them formative years (13-16) of having set-backs, learning, not being the main man. Some of the routes people take, there are many different routes you can go.”
“The youth of today and kids who want to play football must keep enjoying it. When you are exposed to the pressure, some kids are burnt out mentally at 14-15 from the pressure. You know, having to win, having to impress, having to be somewhere and miss out on your childhood.”
Whilst delivering that first MOT, we discuss that you wouldn’t want to lose one in the car park or the bushes behind the goal but even so, you can be rest assured it won’t burst.
Mitre has created a range that caters for all. For the Pro’s, the Evo for your non-league teams and players doing the extra’s and the Ultimax One, tested to last for seasons at amateur level.
The ball is Mitre’s message to football clubs at every level, from the elite level Ultimax Pro to the Ultimax Evo to shake hands with them and let them know that their standards will be met by Mitre, something Mings speaks passionately about before he departs.
“For Mitre it’s about being seen and it’s important to be supportive. Things like coming here (to celebrate the Ultimax), having these conversations about how we can help the younger generations and aligning Mitre as an authentic brand that wants to service the game for future generations.”