Date: 22nd Feb 2016
A Buckinghamshire New University Product Design student has won a competition set by a top football brand to design a new kind of mannequin for use in coaching.
Cezar Ciobanu, studying BSc (Hons) Product Design, won £1,000 from Diamond Football Company Ltd for his 1.84m wooden mannequin, called a Diamond Warrior.
The company, based in West Molesey, Surrey, is set to produce the mannequin, which is wider than commonly-found training mannequins and incorporates the firm's logo.
Cezar, from Romania, said: "It will be fantastic to see my idea become a reality. I looked at the designs already on the market and wanted to create something different that took the idea in a new direction."
Diamond Football Company Ltd supply soccer training accessories and equipment to football teams around the world, working with clubs in the Barclays Premier League and the Football League, as well as the Scottish Premiership and clubs in Ireland, Spain, Germany, Denmark, and the USA.
Director Steve Peterkin said: "Diamond Football Company needed to cement its position as the leading supplier of training mannequins in Europe.
"We needed a fresh look so we turned to Bucks New University to see what they could come up with.
"We were staggered and impressed with the many ideas the students produced and could easily have adopted several ideas from the prototypes they presented to us but Cezar met the brief perfectly with his radical and practical design and he was deserving of the prize.
"We are putting his unit into production, so search for Diamond Warrior later in the year to track its progress. We are looking forward to working with Bucks New University again in the near future as we are confident that they can work to the high standards demanded in the international market place."
Lyndon Buck, Principal Lecturer in Product Design, said live commercial briefs were a fundamental part of design teaching at Bucks New University.
He added: "Working with companies such as Diamond Football Ltd gives our students an exciting opportunity to work on real industrial problems and provide innovative new product ideas.
"We look forward to helping see Cezar's design through to production and launch."
Cezar thanked Lyndon Buck and his colleagues at the University for their help and support.
Picture captions: Cezar Ciobanu with his Diamond Warrior coaching mannequin.