Utilisation of transitional clusters exhibited within soccer game play to inform training design Are we meeting the required demands?

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Lukasz Bortnik
Joost Burger
Ryland Morgans
David Rhodes


The aims of this study were to investigate the effect of 15min blocks on physical metrics during transitions, analyse frequency, type, duration, and recovery period between clusters of transitional activities (CTA) in elite football. During ten official matches 23 elite footballers were tracked using GPS devices. Metrics per minute (m·min-1) as well as absolute variables: total distance (TD), high-speed running distance (HSRD > 19.8 km·h-1), sprint distance (SD > 25.2 km·h-1), relative high-speed running distance (VelB4), relative sprint distance (VelB5), acceleration distance (AccB3 Dist, distance with variations in running speed > 3 m·s-2), the number of high-intensity accelerations (HI Acc > 3 m·s-2) and decelerations (HI Dec > 3 m·s-2) were quantified. Significant effects of 15min blocks were found for TD (m) (p < .001; ES = .078), TD (m·min-1) (p = .047; ES = .036), HSRD (m) (p = .033; ES = .039), VelB4 (m) (p < .001; ES = .132), and HI Dec (n·min-1) (p = .002; ES = .059). Transitional activities recovery period was found to be 108.5 ± 26.2 s, CTA recovery period was 25.7 ± 3.6 s, while CTA peak duration reached 53.3 ± 18.2 s. This study indicates that physical metrics decrease in the last 15min blocks during transitions and high-pressure activities in games. In conclusion, repeated high intensity / high velocity activities frequently occur during contextualized peak intensity periods (transitions) in football, which should be reflected in modern training design.

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How to Cite
Bortnik, L., Burger, J., Morgans, R., & Rhodes, D. (2023). Utilisation of transitional clusters exhibited within soccer game play to inform training design: Are we meeting the required demands?. Scientific Journal of Sport and Performance, 2(4), 439–453. https://doi.org/10.55860/ZURN6735
Performance Analysis of Sport and Physical Conditioning
Author Biographies

Lukasz Bortnik, Hapoel Beer Sheva FC

Football Performance Hub. Institute of Coaching and Performance (ICaP). School of Sport and Health Sciences. University of Central Lancashire.

Ryland Morgans, University of Central Lancashire

Football Performance Hub. Institute of Coaching and Performance (ICaP). School of Sport and Health Sciences.

David Rhodes, University of Central Lancashire

Football Performance Hub. Institute of Coaching and Performance (ICaP). School of Sport and Health Sciences.

Human Performance Department. Burnley FC.


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