Does competition standard and player position influence the match-play physical demands of Australian elite youth male soccer players within a single squad?

Michael G. Sydney, Nick Ball, Dale Chapman, Martin Wollin, Jocelyn K. Mara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of competition standard and player position on the physical demands of Australian elite youth male soccer players during match-play. Twenty-three elite youth male soccer players from the same Australian U17 National Centre of Excellence program were observed across 8 National Youth League (NYL) and 21 National Premier League (NPL) competition matches. Total (TD/min), low- (< 3.6 m/s), moderate- (3.6–5.0m/s) and high-speed (> 5.0 m/s) running distance, and the accelerations (Acc/min) (≥ 2.0 m/s2) and decelerations (Dec/min) (≤ −2.0 m/s2) were recorded using 15-Hz portable global positioning system tracking devices (GPSports, Canberra, Australia). An interaction was observed between competition standard and player position for TD/min (p = 0.003), HSRD/min (p = 0.007) and Acc/min (p = 0.037) indicating the influence that competition standard had on these variables varied according to player position. Furthermore, we report that Central Defenders (3.1%), External Attackers (4.2%) and Central Attackers (3.8%) performed more TD/min in NYL (professional development level) compared to NPL (semi-professional) match-play. Central Defenders (24.2%) and Central Attackers (17.0%) completed more HSRD/min in NYL (professional development level) compared to NPL (semi-professional) match-play. Central Defenders (47.8%), External Defenders (20.5%), Midfielders (18.5%) and External Attackers (32.3%) all performed more Acc/min in NPL (semi-professional) when compared to NYL (professional development level) match-play. The results of this study provide scientific basis to aid the match-preparation of Australian elite youth male soccer player’s transition to higher standards of soccer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science and Coaching
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Oct 2020

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