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J Sports Sci Med. 2007 Mar 1;6(1):63-70. eCollection 2007.

Physical Demands of Different Positions in FA Premier League Soccer.

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Sports Institute of Northern Ireland, University of Ulster , Northern Ireland, UK.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the physical demands of English Football Association (FA) Premier League soccer of three different positional classifications (defender, midfielder and striker). Computerised time-motion video-analysis using the Bloomfield Movement Classification was undertaken on the purposeful movement (PM) performed by 55 players. Recognition of PM had a good inter-tester reliability strength of agreement (κ= 0.7277). Players spent 40.6 ± 10.0% of the match performing PM. Position had a significant influence on %PM time spent sprinting, running, shuffling, skipping and standing still (p < 0.05). However, position had no significant influence on the %PM time spent performing movement at low, medium, high or very high intensities (p > 0.05). Players spent 48.7 ± 9.2% of PM time moving in a directly forward direction, 20.6 ± 6.8% not moving in any direction and the remainder of PM time moving backward, lateral, diagonal and arced directions. The players performed the equivalent of 726 ± 203 turns during the match; 609 ± 193 of these being of 0° to 90° to the left or right. Players were involved in the equivalent of 111 ± 77 on the ball movement activities per match with no significant differences between the positions for total involvement in on the ball activity (p > 0.05). This study has provided an indication of the different physical demands of different playing positions in FA Premier League match-play through assessment of movements performed by players. Key pointsPlayers spent ~40% of the match performing Pur-poseful Movement (PM).Position had a significant influence on %PM time spent performing each motion class except walking and jogging. Players performed >700 turns in PM, most of these being of 0°-90°.Strikers performed most high to very high intensity activity and most contact situations.Defenders also spent a significantly greater %PM time moving backwards than the other two posi-tions.Different positions could benefit from more specific conditioning programs.


Match-play; agility; time-motion analysis; video analysis.


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