A qualitative exploration of the use of player loans to supplement the talent development process of professional footballers in the under 23 age group of English football academies

Journal article


Prendergast, Gareth and Gibson, L. 2021. A qualitative exploration of the use of player loans to supplement the talent development process of professional footballers in the under 23 age group of English football academies. Journal of Sports Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2021.1996985
AuthorsPrendergast, Gareth and Gibson, L.
Abstract

A range of literature has contributed to talent development and career transition in professional football. Recently, attention has shifted to the under 23s age group of English football academies, highlighting limitations in the efficacy of this age group in developing professional footballers. Such limitations have led to players going on loan to football clubs in lower divisions to supplement their development; however, we have yet to develop a scholarly understanding of this approach. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of an under 23s player loan in developing professional footballers. Using a qualitative design, data were collected through the use of semi-structured interviews with nine participants. Following a process of thematic analysis, findings highlighted the potential of a loan in contributing to a player’s physical and psycho-social development. Positive performances whilst on loan were also perceived to be contributing factors in increased first team selection opportunities at the player’s parent club. However, an emphasis was also placed on the need to provide consistent pastoral support to under 23s players during their loan period. Finally, more longitudinal methodologies are required to understand the individual and temporal nature of positive and negative loan experiences of under 23s players.

KeywordsTalent Development; Career Transition; Professional Football; Qualitative
Year2021
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
PublisherTaylor Francis
ISSN1466-447X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2021.1996985
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/626094
hdl:10545/626094
Publication dates27 Oct 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Nov 2021, 15:50
Accepted20 Oct 2021
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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