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Evaluation of a medical after-care intervention among deselected elite male Academy football players: a pilot study

Sean Carmody,   Joe Ranson,  Zafar Iqbal, Andrew Massey,  Gino Kerkhoffs, Vincent Gouttebarge.

Correspondence to Sean Carmody; [email protected]


Objective This pilot study aimed to evaluate the perception and satisfaction of deselected male Academy professional footballers towards a medical after-care intervention.

Methods A quasiexperimental study design, with deselected players (aged≥18 years) at a single Premier League Academy during the 2022/2023 season, were invited to participate. The intervention included individualised health recommendations, key medical information and signposting to key support resources. Participants’ perceptions and satisfaction were assessed through an electronic survey. Descriptive analyses (mean, SD, frequency and/or range) were performed for all variables.

Results Twelve out of 15 eligible participants (80% response rate) provided informed consent and completed the survey (mean age: 19.5 years). All (100%) of the participants were satisfied with receiving the medical information. Ten out of 12 (83.3%) participants agreed that all Academy players should receive this medical intervention on deselection. Nine (75%) players felt more prepared for the next steps in their careers due to the medical information shared with them.

Conclusion Deselected male Academy footballers expressed high satisfaction with an individualised medical intervention which shared key health information and signposted them to important resources (eg, mental health). Future studies across multiple clubs should explore the broader impact of this intervention among deselected male and female Academy footballers. Football clubs should consider integrating a medical after-care process for deselected players as part of routine care.