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Background and Study Aim: The extremes of professional soccer prejudge two factors (criteria): coordination difficulty; body burden effort during of match (90 minutes and more). The aim of this study is correlation between the efficiency of actions 14-16 years old football players during small-sided games and during competitive games.
Material and Methods: Among 16 young male elite soccer players the mean age of the first group (C1) was 14.2 ±0.5 years, and the second group (C2) was 16.1 ±0.6 years. The efficiency of action in small-sided games was assessed by means of a test method involving “1-on-1” and “2-on-2” games and in the competitive game with the SGPAI method (Soccer Game Performance Assessment Instrument). The inter- and intra-observer agreement for the first and third stages of the research was assessed using Intraclass Correlations Coefficients (ICC). The 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the ICC were calculated in each case. Test-retest reliability values above 0.8 indicated good reliability.
Results: The study has proved a significant and strong positive correlation between the efficiency of action achieved by young players in small-sided games and the expert assessment of their competence in the competitive game. The ICC of test-retest for small-sided games for both groups were, respectively: 0.89, 0.87 and 0.92, 0.90.
Conclusions: Proposed method was proven to be a reliable tool for the comprehensive evaluation of young football players’ efficiency. Early identification and shaping of skills in individual actions and in cooperation are essential to achieving high efficiency and develop young football players’ talents.