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Factors Affecting the Identification of Talented Junior-Elite Footballers: A case study

Reeves, MJ and Roberts, SJ and McRobert, A and Littlewood, M Factors Affecting the Identification of Talented Junior-Elite Footballers: A case study. Soccer and Society. ISSN 1743-9590 (Accepted)

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify and examine factors associated with the identification of talented junior-elite footballers. Three data collection methods were employed: (1) document analysis (4 documents, 222 pages), (2) overt observation (~105 hours), and (3) 12 semi-structured one-to-one interviews with staff responsible for player recruitment (M=70 minutes). Data were analysed using a constant comparative approach, meaning newly collected data were compared with previously collected data, allowing flexibility and reflexivity throughout the data collection period. Two core themes associated with the identification of talented junior-elite footballers at this academy emerged: “structural issues”, and “current performance and potential talent”. “Structural issues” were further categorised as: (1) financial; (2) educational; (3) philosophical or cultural; (4) competition amongst clubs; and (5) hours in practice. “Current performance and potential talent” covered issues around growth, maturation and development and psycho-social attributes of players. The paper concludes by suggesting that clubs should be more proactive in understanding the structural issues that affect their talent identification processes, and better educating and supporting staff in their understanding of growth, maturation, and development.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1699 Other Studies In Human Society, 1504 Commercial Services
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports > GV711 Coaching
Divisions: School of Sport Studies, Leisure and Nutrition
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 11:57
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2017 11:57
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7584

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