The effect of playing status, maturity status, and playing position on the development of match skills in elite youth football players aged 11–18 years: a mixed-longitudinal study

Saward, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-9363-3410, Morris, J.G. ORCID: 0000-0001-6508-7897, Nevill, M.E. ORCID: 0000-0003-2498-9493 and Sunderland, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-7484-1345, 2019. The effect of playing status, maturity status, and playing position on the development of match skills in elite youth football players aged 11–18 years: a mixed-longitudinal study. European Journal of Sport Science, 19 (3), pp. 315-326. ISSN 1746-1391

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Abstract

This mixed-longitudinal study examined the development of match skills in elite male youth footballers (aged 11–18 years), while considering the effect of playing status, maturity status, and playing position. Across two seasons, 126 elite male youth footballers were assessed in 1–10 competitive matches (401 player-matches). For each match, the on-the-ball actions of each player were recorded using a notation system. The match skills observed were frequencies of successful passes, on-target shots, dribbles, crosses, clearances, and tackles/blocks/interceptions. Multilevel Poisson analysis was used to model the development of players, with regard to each match skill. Modelling revealed significant (p < .05) age-related changes in the frequency of several match skills. That is, dribbles increased, on-target shots, crosses and tackles/blocks/interceptions decreased, whereas changes in successful passes were position-specific. Players retained by an academy performed more dribbles compared to released players (p < .05) (e.g. retained vs. released 18-year-old centre forward = 4.1 vs. 2.0 dribbles per hour), and retained defenders performed more tackles/blocks/interceptions than released defenders (p < .05) (e.g. retained vs. released 18-year-old, on-time maturing centre back = 12.5 vs. 10.2 tackles/blocks/interceptions per hour). Moreover, compared to on-time maturing players, early maturing players performed more tackles/blocks/interceptions (p < .05) (e.g. on-time vs. early maturing retained 18-year-old centre back = 12.5 vs. 15.2 tackles/blocks/interceptions per hour). Playing position affected all match skills (p < .05). The developmental profiles of match skills presented here may support experts in identifying and developing talented footballers across a wide age range, while considering the influence of maturity status and playing position.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: European Journal of Sport Science
Creators: Saward, C., Morris, J.G., Nevill, M.E. and Sunderland, C.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2019
Volume: 19
Number: 3
ISSN: 1746-1391
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1080/17461391.2018.1508502DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 23 Aug 2018 12:32
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2019 14:45
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/34372

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