Performance and anthropometric characteristics of prospective elite junior Australian footballers: a case study in one junior team

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Veale, James P, Pearce, Alan J, Koehn, Stefan and Carlson, John (2008) Performance and anthropometric characteristics of prospective elite junior Australian footballers: a case study in one junior team. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 11 (2). pp. 227-230. ISSN 1440-2440


The aim of the study was to compare anthropometric and physical performance data of players who were selected for a Victorian elite junior U18 Australian rules football squad. Prior to the selection of the final training squad, 54 players were assessed using a battery of standard anthropometric and physical performance tests. Multivariate analysis (MANOVA) showed significant (p < 0.05) differences between selected and non-selected players when height, mass, 20-m sprint, agility and vertical jump height were considered collectively. Univariate analysis revealed that the vertical jump was the only significant (p < 0.05) individual test and a near significant trend (p = 0.07) for height differentiating between selected and non-selected players with medium effect sizes for all other tests except endurance. In this elite junior football squad, physical characteristics can be observed that discriminate between players selected and non-selected, and demonstrates the value of physical fitness testing within the talent identification process of junior (16–18 years) players for squad and/or team selection. Based on MANOVA results, the findings from this study suggest team selection appeared to be related to a generally higher performance across the range of tests. Further, age was not a confounding variable as players selected tended to be younger than those non-selected. These findings reflect the general consensus that, in state-based junior competition, there is evidence of promoting overall player development, selecting those who are generally able to fulfil a range of positions and selecting players on their potential.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Ageing, Rehabilitation, Exercise & Sport Science (CARES)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > SEO Classification > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Keywords ResPubID16339. Australian rules football, performance testing, anthropometry, Australian footballers, junior football, anthropometric, Multivariate analysis, MANOVA, player selection, Victorian, Victoria, Australia
Citations in Scopus 31 - View on Scopus
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