to quantify the EE of a professional GK of the English Premier League (EPL) using the doubly labeled water method (DLW). The use of this technique is advantageous as it takes into account the total daily EE of players therefore encompassing those energetic actions (eg, diving, jumping, isometric
Liam Anderson, Graeme L. Close, Ryland Morgans, Catherine Hambly, John Roger Speakman, Barry Drust, and James P. Morton
Liam Anderson, Robert J. Naughton, Graeme L. Close, Rocco Di Michele, Ryland Morgans, Barry Drust, and James P. Morton
The daily distribution of macronutrient intake can modulate aspects of training adaptations, performance and recovery. We therefore assessed the daily distribution of macronutrient intake (as assessed using food diaries supported by the remote food photographic method and 24-hr recalls) of professional soccer players (n = 6) of the English Premier League during a 7-day period consisting of two match days and five training days. On match days, average carbohydrate (CHO) content of the prematch (<1.5 g·kg-1 body mass) and postmatch (1 g·kg-1 body mass) meals (in recovery from an evening kick-off) were similar (p > .05) though such intakes were lower than contemporary guidelines considered optimal for prematch CHO intake and postmatch recovery. On training days, we observed a skewed and hierarchical approach (p < .05 for all comparisons) to protein feeding such that dinner (0.8 g·kg-1)>lunch (0.6 g·kg-1)>breakfast (0.3 g·kg-1)>evening snacks (0.1 g·kg-1). We conclude players may benefit from consuming greater amounts of CHO in both the prematch and postmatch meals so as to increase CHO availability and maximize rates of muscle glycogen resynthesis, respectively. Furthermore, attention should also be given to ensuring even daily distribution of protein intake so as to potentially promote components of training adaptation.
Michael D. Bush, David T. Archer, Robert Hogg, and Paul S. Bradley
To investigate match-to-match variability of physical and technical performances in English Premier League players and quantify the influence of positional and contextual factors.
Match data (N = 451) were collected using a multicamera computerized tracking system across multiple seasons (2005–06 to 2012–13). The coefficient of variation (CV) was calculated from match to match for physical and technical performances in selected positions across different match contexts (location, standard, and result).
Wide midfielders demonstrated the greatest CVs for total distance (4.9% ± 5.9%) and central midfielders the smallest (3.6% ± 2.0%); nevertheless, all positions exhibited CVs <5% (P > .05, effect size [ES] 0.1–0.3). Central defenders demonstrated the greatest CVs and wide midfielders the lowest for both high-intensity running (20.2% ± 8.8% and 13.7% ± 7.7%, P < .05, ES 0.4–0.8) and sprint distance (32.3% ± 13.8% and 22.6% ± 11.2%, P < .05, ES 0.5–0.8). Technical indicators such as tackles (83.7% ± 42.3%), possessions won (47.2% ± 27.9%), and interceptions (59.1% ± 37.3%) illustrated substantial variability for attackers compared with all other positions (P < .05, ES 0.4–1.1). Central defenders demonstrated large variability for the number of times tackled per match (144.9% ± 58.3%) and passes attempted and received compared with other positions (39.2% ± 17.5% and 46.9% ± 20.2%, P < .001, ES 0.6–1.8). Contextual factors had limited impact on the variability of physical and technical parameters.
The data demonstrate that technical parameters varied more from match to match than physical parameters. Defensive players (fullbacks and central defenders) displayed higher CVs for offensive technical variables, while attacking players (attackers and wide midfielders) exhibited higher CVs for defensive technical variables. Physical and technical performances are variable per se regardless of context.
James J. Malone, Rocco Di Michele, Ryland Morgans, Darren Burgess, James P. Morton, and Barry Drust
To quantify the seasonal training load completed by professional soccer players of the English Premier League.
Thirty players were sampled (using GPS, heart rate, and rating of perceived exertion [RPE]) during the daily training sessions of the 2011–12 preseason and in-season period. Preseason data were analyzed across 6 × 1-wk microcycles. In-season data were analyzed across 6 × 6-wk mesocycle blocks and 3 × 1-wk microcycles at start, midpoint, and end-time points. Data were also analyzed with respect to number of days before a match.
Typical daily training load (ie, total distance, high-speed distance, percent maximal heart rate [%HRmax], RPE load) did not differ during each week of the preseason phase. However, daily total distance covered was 1304 (95% CI 434–2174) m greater in the 1st mesocycle than in the 6th. %HRmax values were also greater (3.3%, 1.3−5.4%) in the 3rd mesocycle than in the first. Furthermore, training load was lower on the day before match (MD-1) than 2 (MD-2) to 5 (MD-5) d before a match, although no difference was apparent between these latter time points.
The authors provide the 1st report of seasonal training load in elite soccer players and observed that periodization of training load was typically confined to MD-1 (regardless of mesocycle), whereas no differences were apparent during MD-2 to MD-5. Future studies should evaluate whether this loading and periodization are facilitative of optimal training adaptations and match-day performance.
Liam Anderson, Patrick Orme, Robert J. Naughton, Graeme L. Close, Jordan Milsom, David Rydings, Andy O’Boyle, Rocco Di Michele, Julien Louis, Catherine Hambly, John Roger Speakman, Ryland Morgans, Barry Drust, and James P. Morton
In an attempt to better identify and inform the energy requirements of elite soccer players, we quantified the energy expenditure (EE) of players from the English Premier League (n = 6) via the doubly labeled water method (DLW) over a 7-day in-season period. Energy intake (EI) was also assessed using food diaries, supported by the remote food photographic method and 24 hr recalls. The 7-day period consisted of 5 training days (TD) and 2 match days (MD). Although mean daily EI (3186 ± 367 kcals) was not different from (p > .05) daily EE (3566 ± 585 kcals), EI was greater (p < .05) on MD (3789 ± 532 kcal; 61.1 ± 11.4 kcal.kg-1 LBM) compared with TD (2956 ± 374 kcal; 45.2 ± 9.3 kcal.kg-1 LBM, respectively). Differences in EI were reflective of greater (p < .05) daily CHO intake on MD (6.4 ± 2.2 g.kg-1) compared with TD (4.2 ± 1.4 g.kg-1). Exogenous CHO intake was also different (p < .01) during training sessions (3.1 ± 4.4 g.h-1) versus matches (32.3 ± 21.9 g.h-1). In contrast, daily protein (205 ± 30 g.kg-1, p = .29) and fat intake (101 ± 20 g, p = .16) did not display any evidence of daily periodization as opposed to g.kg-1, Although players readily achieve current guidelines for daily protein and fat intake, data suggest that CHO intake on the day before and in recovery from match play was not in accordance with guidelines to promote muscle glycogen storage.
Liam Anderson, Patrick Orme, Rocco Di Michele, Graeme L. Close, Jordan Milsom, Ryland Morgans, Barry Drust, and James P. Morton
To quantify the accumulative training and match load during an annual season in English Premier League soccer players classified as starters (n = 8, started ≥60% of games), fringe players (n = 7, started 30–60% of games) and nonstarters (n = 4, started <30% of games).
Players were monitored during all training sessions and games completed in the 2013–14 season with load quantified using global positioning system and Prozone technology, respectively.
When including both training and matches, total duration of activity (10,678 ± 916, 9955 ± 947, 10,136 ± 847 min; P = .50) and distance covered (816.2 ± 92.5, 733.8 ± 99.4, 691.2 ± 71.5 km; P = .16) were not different between starters, fringe players, and nonstarters, respectively. However, starters completed more (all P < .01) distance running at 14.4–19.8 km/h (91.8 ± 16.3 vs 58.0 ± 3.9 km; effect size [ES] = 2.5), high-speed running at 19.9–25.1 km/h (35.0 ± 8.2 vs 18.6 ± 4.3 km; ES = 2.3), and sprinting at >25.2 km/h (11.2 ± 4.2 vs 2.9 ± 1.2 km; ES = 2.3) than nonstarters. In addition, starters also completed more sprinting (P < .01, ES = 2.0) than fringe players, who accumulated 4.5 ± 1.8 km. Such differences in total high-intensity physical work done were reflective of differences in actual game time between playing groups as opposed to differences in high-intensity loading patterns during training sessions.
Unlike total seasonal volume of training (ie, total distance and duration), seasonal high-intensity loading patterns are dependent on players’ match starting status, thereby having potential implications for training program design.
Nathanael C.H. Ong
On June 29, 2018, 17-year-old Singaporean footballer Ben Davis became the first Singaporean footballer ever to sign a professional contract with a top-tier English football club, signing with English Premier League (EPL) club Fulham ( Osman, 2018a ). However, he was also due to enlist for full
Tom O. Mitchell, Adam Gledhill, Ross Shand, Martin A. Littlewood, Lewis Charnock, and Kevin Till
There is an increasing awareness of the importance of the environment in academy players’ development, yet limited research has investigated players’ perceptions of their talent development environments (TDEs). This study focused on academy soccer players’ perceptions of their TDE and compared perceptions across the English soccer academy categorization (CAT) system. A total of 136 U.K.-based male soccer players (M age = 17.7, SD = 1.03 years) representing all four categories (1 = highest to 4 = lowest) of soccer academies aligned to professional soccer clubs completed the TDE Questionnaire-5 (TDEQ-5). The players within the CAT1 academies had significantly more positive perceptions of their support network (p = .01) and holistic quality preparation (p = .03) than their CAT3 counterparts. Across CAT2–CAT3, holistic quality preparation was the least positively perceived subscale within the TDEQ-5, suggesting the need for additional coach education in this area. Soccer academies should consider how they ensure that all areas of their service are associated with optimal TDEs by offering a well-communicated and holistic development experience for their players to enhance effective personal and player development. The findings may have implications for player experience and associated progression rates of lower categorized soccer academies.
Lee Baldock, Brendan Cropley, Rich Neil, and Stephen D. Mellalieu
English Premier League (EPL), (b) had operated at EPL or English Football League Championship level within the last 2 years, and (c) had worked at either level for a minimum of 2 years. Seven of the participants were operating as first team coaches in the EPL at the time of the study, with one operating
Ryland Morgans, Rocco Di Michele, and Barry Drust
professional outfield soccer players from an English Premier League (EPL) team were included in the study (age 25.8 ± 4.1 y, stature 1.78 ± 0.08 m, mass 71.7 ± 9.1 kg). Written informed consent was obtained from all participants. The study was approved by the university human research ethics committee and the