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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2018 December;177(12):726-33

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.17.03612-9

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Young soccer players’ (U15) maturity status and achieved level according to birth quarters

Isabel FRAGOSO 1, João FERREIRA 1, Luís M. MASSUÇA 1, 2

1 Interdisciplinary Center for Human Performance (CIPER), Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon, Cruz Quebrada, Portugal; 2 Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Lusófona University, Lisbon, Portugal



BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to analyze the relation between the birth quarters, the bone maturity status of under-15’s and the adult achieved levels of the same soccer players.
METHODS: A total of 133 soccer players, from a Top Elite Soccer Club, participated in this study. The birth quarters (Q1, first; Q2, second; Q3, third; Q4, fourth) and bone maturity status (Late, Average or Early maturing) were collected from soccer players at U15’s (from U15’s 2002/2003 season to U15’s 2009/2010 season). Complementarily, achieved level (1, dismissed; 2, local; 3, national; 4, international) of athletes was recorded at senior age.
RESULTS: Athletes with different maturity status showed different statures, body mass and bone age. Those included in the first quarter (Q1) were taller and significantly advanced while the ones born in the fourth quarter were shorter and significantly less mature. Most of the athletes (56.8%) who have achieved national and international level of performance at senior age were born in the first quarter; nine (15.5%) late maturing soccer players at U15’s were able to achieve these levels of performance at senior age.
CONCLUSIONS: The bone maturity appears to play an important role in the selection of soccer players at U15. In accordance it was suggested that technical skills (rather than morphology) should be used as selection criterion.


KEY WORDS: Growth and development - Soccer - Bone and bones - Adolescent

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