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Developing World-Class Soccer Players: An Example of the Academy Physical Development Program From an English Premier League Team

Ryan, Desmond, MSc; Lewin, Colin, BSc (Hons); Forsythe, Shad, MS, ATC, CSCS; McCall, Alan, PhD,

Strength & Conditioning Journal: June 2018 - Volume 40 - Issue 3 - p 2–11
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000340
Article

ABSTRACT THE ROLE OF THE YOUTH ACADEMY IN ELITE SOCCER IS TO CREATE WORLD-CLASS PLAYERS. THIS INVOLVES TARGETED DEVELOPMENT OF A MYRIAD OF FACTORS, INCLUDING TECHNICAL, TACTICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, AND PHYSICAL QUALITIES. THE ROLE OF SPORTS SCIENCE AND MEDICINE IS TO OPTIMIZE THE PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT OF YOUNG PROMISING PLAYERS. IN LINE WITH THE MULTIFACETED NATURE OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT, THE SPORTS SCIENCE AND MEDICINE DEPARTMENT MUST INTEGRATE EFFECTIVELY INTO THE OVERALL YOUTH ACADEMY. THE PURPOSE OF THE PRESENT ARTICLE IS TO OUTLINE THE OBJECTIVES, METHODS, AND OPERATIONS OF A SPORTS SCIENCE AND MEDICINE DEPARTMENT OF ONE OF THE BIGGEST SOCCER TEAMS IN THE WORLD.

Arsenal Football Club, London, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Desmond Ryan, dryan@arsenal.co.uk.

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors report no conflicts of interest and no source of funding.

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Desmond Ryan is the head of Sport Medicine and Athletic Development for the Arsenal FC Academy.

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Colin Lewin is the head of Medical Services and Head Physiotherapist for the Arsenal FC first team.

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Shad Forsythe is the head of Performance for the Arsenal FC first team.

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Alan McCall is responsible for coordinating the Arsenal FC Research and Development Department.

© 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association