Influence of age and fitness on match and training activity profiles in junior Australian football
Monash University, Australia 1. INTRODUCTION The physical attributes that increase during childhood and adolescence are well established (Nevill et al. 1998; Van Praagh and Dore, 2002). Increased height and weight have an impact on aerobic and anaerobic capacities, muscular strength, power and running speeds, leading to an increased sporting performance throughout pubertal growth (Malina et al., 2004). This gives a distinct advantage in sporting performance to older individuals or those more biologically mature within an age group (Armstrong and Welsman, 2005). Selection bias and the relative age effect (Barnsley et al., 1992), where a predominance of selected players are from the first quarter or half of the year, have previously been observed in the football codes at both junior and senior levels (Cobley et al., 2009), suggesting that players born earlier in the selection year have an advantage in the sport.