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The influence of season phase on multivariate load relationships in professional youth soccer.

Maughan, Patrick C.; MacFarlane, Niall G.; Swinton, Paul A.


Patrick C. Maughan

Niall G. MacFarlane


The purpose of this research was to assess relationships between subjective and external measures of training load in professional youth footballers, whilst accounting for the effect of the stage of the season. Data for ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and seven global positioning systems (GPS) derived measures were collected from 20 players (age=17.4±1.3yrs, height=178.0±8.1 cm, mass=71.8±7.2 kg) across a 47-week season. The season was categorised by a pre-season phase, and two competitive phases (Comp1, Comp2). The structure of the data were investigated using principal component analysis. An extraction criterion of component with eigenvalues ≥1.0 was used. Two components were retained for the pre-season period explaining a cumulative variance of 77.1%. Single components were retained for both Comp1 and Comp2 explaining 73.3% and 74.3% of variance, respectively. Identification of single components may suggest that measures are related and can be used interchangeably, however these interpretations should be considered with caution. The identification of multiple components in the pre-season phase suggests that univariate measures may not be sufficient when considering load experienced. These results suggest that factoring load based on measures of volume and intensity should be considered.


MAUGHAN, P.C., MACFARLANE, N.G. and SWINTON, P.A. 2022. The influence of season phase on multivariate load relationships in professional youth soccer. Journal of sports sciences [online], 40(3), pages 345-350. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 12, 2021
Online Publication Date Oct 27, 2021
Publication Date Feb 15, 2022
Deposit Date Oct 15, 2021
Publicly Available Date Oct 15, 2021
Journal Journal of sports sciences
Print ISSN 0264-0414
Electronic ISSN 1466-447X
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 3
Pages 345-350
Keywords Multivariate analysis; Training loads; Youth soccer; Youth football; Soccer players; Football players; Team sports; Monitoring; Session-rpe; Workload
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