Seasonal training and match load and micro-cycle periodization in male Premier League academy soccer players

Marcus P. Hannon, Nicholas M. Coleman, Lloyd J. F. Parker, John McKeown, Viswanath B. Unnithan, Graeme L. Close, Barry Drust, James P. Morton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We quantified on pitch external loading of English Premier League (EPL) academy soccer players (n=76; U12-U18 age groups) over an entire competitive season. Mean accumulative weekly duration and total distance, respectively, was similar in the U12 (329±29 min; 19.9±2.2 km), U13 (323±29 min; 20.0±2.0 km) and U14 (339±25 min; 21.7±2.0 km; P>0.05 for all comparisons) age-groups, though all teams were less than U15 (421±15 min; 26.2±2.1 km), U16 (427±20 min; 25.9±2.5 km) and U18 (398±30 min; 26.1±2.6 km) players (P<0.05 for all comparisons). Mean weekly high-speed running and sprint distance was not different between U12 (220±95 m and 6±9 m respectively), U13 (331±212 m and 6±27 m) and U14 (448±193 m and 21±29 m) age-groups (P>0.05 for all pairwise comparisons) though all squads were less than U15 (657±242 m and 49±98 m), U16 (749±152 m and 95±55 m) and U18 (979±254 m and 123±56 m) age-groups (P<0.05 for all pairwise comparisons). Data demonstrate that absolute weekly training volume in EPL academy soccer players increases throughout the academy pathway. Furthermore, although U16-U18 players are capable of achieving similar training and match volumes as previously reported in adult EPL players, they do not yet achieve the absolute intensities of adult EPL players.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1838-1849
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Sport Science
Volume39
Issue number16
Early online date24 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • player development
  • load monitoring
  • GPS
  • periodization
  • LTAD

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