100% I’d recommend it to other players. A lot of them have been asking where I got it!
Veteran winger Yannick Bolasie left Crystal Palace in 2016, joining Everton in a deal worth £25M, however just three months into his debut season, he sustained a serious injury to his anterior cruciate ligament during a 1–1 draw with Manchester United.
Devastated and keen to get back to match fitness as soon as possible, Bolasie got in touch with ESA to see if we could help. We ended up building a personalised 4M ICON for him to use at home during his recovery.
“For me it worked perfectly when I was coming back from injury. It’s done a lot more than I anticipated to be honest. Things start coming naturally to me in games, and I know a lot of it has come from doing it in the ICON in a small space. Movement, opening up my hips, adjusting to where the ball is gonna be... it’s been indispensable.”
Beyond just physical recovery, Bolasie credits the ICON as a key factor in building up the mental strength to get back on the pitch:
“Everything comes with confidence. So If I’m confident in my basic touch and passing, that feeds into a game where I’ve got to take one touch and spin off, or take a touch and pass it quickly... it just feels natural now.”
The ICON has continued to be an invaluable training tool for Bolasie, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic:
“In the lockdown I was minimum three times a week in the ICON. Now, when we have late training sessions, I like to go in there in the morning and get the highest score possible. It gets me all my touches on the ball so I have that feel good factor around my feet, so that when I go into training, it’s like a second session.”
Sadly he was unable to take it to Portugal while on loan at Sporting CP, in a spell which saw Yannick play 25 games in all competitions for the Leões scoring 2 goals.
“When I was in Portugal I really missed it, it gets you your sharp touches, moving sharp, feeling sharp, on my toes.... Those little cues you need to be feeling in a game. After the winter break, I came back a bit sluggish. If I’d have had the ICON in that period I would have carried off from where I was.”
Now 32, Bolasie is currently playing for Çaykur Rizespor in the Turkish Premier League. We wish him all the best and hope he’s been able to bring the ICON along this time!