LEFT BACK IN THE CHANGING ROOM: A STUDY EXAMINING THE PLAYER SELECTION PROCESS IN ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this study was to examine the coaches’ perceptions of player selection in elite level association football. Specifically, the considerations, decision making and methods used were unearthed using qualitative data collection methods. Utilising purposive sampling techniques, semi-structured interviews were developed to collect data from three coaches. Through thematic analysis, findings suggested that, coaches who have closer relationships with their players outside of training sessions, find it harder to make decisions such as, dropping an individual from the starting eleven. Also, the only input that can solely affect a coach’s decision about playing an individual is the physiotherapist. Finally, coaches alter their discourse when making player selection decisions to suit the situation. Such as, if a senior player who has a vast amount of experience is going to not be included in the starting eleven. The coach will treat these with more respect than a player who is young and inexperienced. The final section includes the future research directions such as, player perspectives of the player selection process as well as other employees of a football clubs views on the managers actions surrounding player selection.
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