Football Cannon Timeline

The Football Cannons history and development over the years

The story behind the Football Cannon

The Football Cannon was developed at the beginning of the eighties and in 1984 the first prototype was ready. It is the former goalkeeper Karsten Simensen who is behind the idea of the Football Cannon.

The man behind the idea

Karsten Simensen had a long and successful football career as a goalkeeper behind him. Karsten played 275 division matches for AaB, almost 100 division matches for Frederikshavn, and was also selected for the Danish national team.

As a youngster, Karsten was on coaching courses at DBU and again when his career stopped he was on the course again. Here, Karsten experienced that there was no specific training for the goalkeeper as the philosophy was that the goalkeeper was part of the team and had to participate in functional training. Therefore, special training of the goalkeepers was almost forbidden.


Karsten got the idea for a Football Cannon because he didn't get much goalkeeper training during a normal training evening. In the eighties there was no special training for the goalkeeper, so the goalkeeper was included in the normal training on equal terms with the field players. 

This made Karsten look more towards Sweden, where the Swedish Football Association was much further ahead when it came to goalkeeper training and was far ahead of the Danish model. Karsten was in Sweden to find inspiration and here he saw the first primitive model that was made as a copy of an ice hockey machine that could shoot a puck.

The prototype

Karsten took the idea home to Denmark and had RYØ Stål produce a prototype.

In 1984 came the first prototype of the ball cannon, which was a revolution in goalkeeper training. The machine had the disadvantage that it had to be powered and the spring that performed the kick had to be pulled up with a hand crank. This machine was quite quickly improved by adding a ball magazine for 12 balls and the spring could be tensioned via a powered hand-held box.

The machine was a great success and sold approx. 40 machines primarily for the Scandinavian market.

Karsten Siemensens career after football

Karsten held goalkeeping schools around the country and has had approx. 800 goalkeeper on a course where the ball machine was a fast central element.

Karsten then had a great career within the public sector as Municipal Director. In the approx. 15 years there was neither time to run goalkeeping schools nor to develop the goalkeeping machine.

2nd generation of the Football Cannon

It wasn't until 2010, when Karsten was visiting Aalborg University, that the interest was rekindled. Then, in collaboration with the University, John Robert Andersen and Holger Colding, the 2nd generation became a reality in 2011.

In the intervening years, a few different ball machines had come on the market, but what they all had in common was that they shoot the ball out using wheels that throw the ball out. These machines destroy the balls and cannot be used in damp weather.

In the following years, the machine was refined with a magazine of 30 balls and the machine became self-propelled. The 2nd generation kicked with a precision that had not been set before and has not yet been surpassed by other ball machines. The main disadvantage of the machine was that the price was high and it was somewhat heavy to move around, even though it was self-propelled.

A central part of Fortuna Hjoerring

In 2014, Fortuna Hjoerring bought a Football Cannon, and coach Brian Sørensen used it extensively. There was a subsequent period when Brian Sørensen developed the concept of Goal Station.

For many years, Fortuna has been at the forefront of talent development within women's football and has created many great results in Europe and developed many national team players.

Many national team players on the women's national team in 2020/21 have gone through special training with the Goal Station and the Football Cannon, so there is no doubt that this special training benefits women's football in Denmark today.

The Football Cannon was initially developed to train goalkeepers, but Karsten Simensen could soon see that field players could also benefit from the Football Cannon.

The 2nd generation of Football Cannon could shoot at 210 km per hour but has been throttled down to 160 km per hour.

The making of 3rd generation

In the efforts to improve the Football Cannon, Nordland Automatik and Holger Colding joined forces in 2021 and this collaboration resulted in the 3rd generation of the Football Cannon. It has retained all the excellence from the 2nd generation, including precision, firing speed, and a unique control mechanism from the 2nd generation.

The 3rd generation has been improved, so the weight is minimized and the power supply comes from a 12 V battery, which we know from our hand tools. The new and improved Football Cannon can launch a ball with a maximum of 120 km/h and a distance of 60 meters. The Football Cannon got a stylish makeover and have been made simple, modern, and user-friendly. 

It is the only machine that has a robotic leg that kicks the ball, giving it a real and humanized effect with the real curves of the ball. On top of optimizing the training, it also reduces the risk of getting injuries from continuous passing and crossing.

Check out the Football Cannon brochure:

EU version

US version