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Dr Christopher McLaren-Towlson


Leveling the Playing Field: A New Proposed Method to Address Relative Age- and Maturity-Related Bias in UK Male Academy Soccer Players (2022)
Journal Article
Bolckmans, S., Starkes, J. L., Towlson, C., Barnes, C., Parkin, G., & Helsen, W. F. (2022). Leveling the Playing Field: A New Proposed Method to Address Relative Age- and Maturity-Related Bias in UK Male Academy Soccer Players. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 4, Article 847438. https://doi.org/10.3389/fspor.2022.847438

Relative age selection bias persists within all major soccer leagues and youth soccer academies across the globe, with the relative age effect (RAE) being typically characterized as the over selection of relatively older players (who have sometimes a... Read More about Leveling the Playing Field: A New Proposed Method to Address Relative Age- and Maturity-Related Bias in UK Male Academy Soccer Players.

A survey on the English FA heading guidelines for youth soccer: Evidence of compliance, but with limited knowledge of safety (2022)
Journal Article
Roberts, J. W., Towlson, C. P., & J Malone, J. (in press). A survey on the English FA heading guidelines for youth soccer: Evidence of compliance, but with limited knowledge of safety. International journal of sports science & coaching, https://doi.org/10.1177/17479541221075213

Soccer heading may be problematic for neurocognitive function. The English Football Association (FA) recently introduced guidelines in order to limit the number of headers within training for youth soccer. However, it remains to be seen what the infl... Read More about A survey on the English FA heading guidelines for youth soccer: Evidence of compliance, but with limited knowledge of safety.

Measurement properties of external training load variables during standardised games in soccer: Implications for training and monitoring strategies (2022)
Journal Article
Clubb, J., Towlson, C., & Barrett, S. (2022). Measurement properties of external training load variables during standardised games in soccer: Implications for training and monitoring strategies. PLoS ONE, 17(1), Article e0262274. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0262274

The aim of this study was to assess the measurement properties of external training load measures across three formats of standardised training games. Eighty-eight players from two English professional soccer clubs participated in the study spanning... Read More about Measurement properties of external training load variables during standardised games in soccer: Implications for training and monitoring strategies.

Perceptions of professional soccer coaches, support staff and players toward virtual reality and the factors that modify their intention to use it (2021)
Journal Article
Greenhough, B., Barrett, S., Towlson, C., & Abt, G. (2021). Perceptions of professional soccer coaches, support staff and players toward virtual reality and the factors that modify their intention to use it. PLoS ONE, 16(12), Article e0261378. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0261378

A small evidence base supports the use of virtual reality in professional soccer, yet there is a lack of information available on perceptions and desire to use the technology from those employed at professional soccer clubs. Therefore, the aim of the... Read More about Perceptions of professional soccer coaches, support staff and players toward virtual reality and the factors that modify their intention to use it.

The effect of bio-banding on technical and tactical indicators of talent identification in academy soccer players (2021)
Journal Article
Towlson, C., Abt, G., MacMaster, C., Gonçalves, B., Sampaio, J., Toner, J., … Myers, T. (in press). The effect of bio-banding on technical and tactical indicators of talent identification in academy soccer players. Science and Medicine in Football, https://doi.org/10.1080/24733938.2021.2013522

Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of bio-banding on technical and tactical markers of talent identification in 11- to 14-year-old academy soccer players. Methods: Using a repeated measures design, 92 players were bio-banded using p... Read More about The effect of bio-banding on technical and tactical indicators of talent identification in academy soccer players.

The effect of bio-banding on academy soccer player passing networks: Implications of relative pitch size (2021)
Journal Article
McLaren-Towlson, C., Abt, G., Barrett, S., Cumming, S., Hunter, F., Hamilton, A., …Swinton, P. (2021). The effect of bio-banding on academy soccer player passing networks: Implications of relative pitch size. PLoS ONE, 16(12), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0260867

The primary aims of this study were to examine the effects of bio-banding players on passing networks created during 4v4 small-sided games (SSGs), while also examining the interaction of pitch size using passing network analysis compared to a coach-b... Read More about The effect of bio-banding on academy soccer player passing networks: Implications of relative pitch size.

A Brief Review of Methods to Quantify High-Speed Running in Rugby League: Are Current Methods Appropriate? (2021)
Journal Article
Bennett, T., Marshall, P., Barrett, S., Malone, J., & McLaren-Towlson, C. (2021). A Brief Review of Methods to Quantify High-Speed Running in Rugby League: Are Current Methods Appropriate?. Strength and conditioning journal, https://doi.org/10.1519/SSC.0000000000000693

High-speed running (HSR) has been documented within rugby league to differentiate playing standard, position and often precedes pivotal match events. Practitioners and researchers place importance on HSR due to its inclusion in assessing the demands... Read More about A Brief Review of Methods to Quantify High-Speed Running in Rugby League: Are Current Methods Appropriate?.

Examination of differential ratings of perceived exertion (dRPE) during bio-banded small-sided games - Anonymised dataset (2021)
Dataset
McLaren-Towlson, C., Abt, G., & Toner, J. Examination of differential ratings of perceived exertion (dRPE) during bio-banded small-sided games - Anonymised dataset. [Dataset]

The aims of the current study were to investigate the use of dRPE with academy soccer players to: 1) examine the effect of bio-banded and non-bio-banded maturity groups within SSG on players dRPE; 2) describe the multivariate relationships between dR... Read More about Examination of differential ratings of perceived exertion (dRPE) during bio-banded small-sided games - Anonymised dataset.