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Quantification of training and match-play load across a season in professional youth football players.

Maughan, Patrick; MacFarlane, Niall; Swinton, Paul

Authors

Patrick Maughan

Niall MacFarlane

Paul Swinton



Abstract

The purpose of this study was to quantify load across an entire season for professional youth football players and assess the effects of stage of season, playing position and training day relative to match day (MD). Data from ratings of perceived exertion and seven global positioning system (GPS) derived measures of external training load were collected from 20 players across a 47-week season. Mixed linear models were used to assess the effects of stage of season, training proximity to match day (e.g. MD-1, MD-2) and position across each dependent variable. Training proximity to match day was found to have the most substantive effect with effect sizes ranging from small (η_G^2=0.08) to large (η_G^2=0.29). Across training load measures, mean values collected on match day were on average 44% higher than all other sessions. Whilst significant regression coefficients were obtained for playing position (p≤0.003) and stage of season (p≤0.049), effect sizes were close to zero (η_G^2[less than]0.01) in each instance. This study provides insight into the season-long training and match-play demands of a professional youth football team. It highlights the significant impact of match-play on load and supports the use of multiple methods of collecting training load data. Overall, there was limited variation in mean values of dependent variables across playing position, stage of the season and loading during midweek training. These findings highlight the need for future research to investigate whether greater systematic variations in training load can be used to increase physical fitness and maximise physical performance during competition.

Citation

MAUGHAN, P., MACFARLANE, N. and SWINTON, P. [2021]. Quantification of training and match-play load across a season in professional youth football players. International journal of sports science and coaching [online], (accepted).

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 16, 2021
Deposit Date Feb 18, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 18, 2021
Journal International journal of sports science and coaching
Print ISSN 1747-9541
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Professional football; Team sport; GPS; RPE; Periodisation; Performance
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/1206061

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