Does early recruitment predict greater physical performance in academy soccer players?

Maxime Hertzog, Darren J. Paul, George P. Nassis, Joao R. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this longitudinal study was to investigate whether recruitment status influences neuromuscular and endurance performances in academy soccer players over a 2-year training period (from Under-16 to Under-18). Thirty-seven male soccer players from an elite academy were selected and divided in two cohorts according to their recruitment status: Early Recruitment group (ER; n = 16), training and competing for the academy since Under-14 and Under-15 age groups, and; Late Recruitment group (LR; n = 21) included in the academy training process at Under-16. Squat (SJ) and countermovement jump with (CMJwA) and without arms swing (CMJ), 10-m sprint time, and Vam-Eval test (MAV) were performed in three successive occasions always pre-season (Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 age groups, T1, T2, and T3 respectively). A two-way (recruitment status × time) analysis of variance with repeated measurements was performed as well as the magnitude of difference using both effect size and magnitude-based inferences. There was no difference between ER and LR for MAV, 10 m-sprint, and SJ from T1 to T3. However, LR players presented non-significant small and possibly greater improvement in CMJ (ES = 0.4) and CMJwA (ES = 0.4) than ER players at T2. These data indicate that early recruitment is not likely to result in greater physical performance improvement at the age of 18.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerobic
  • Jump
  • Long-term
  • Speed
  • Team sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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