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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:46 am 
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Would Professional Players Struggle In Sunday League?

ByChris 'Nando' Adams
27 SEP 2012

We all know professional footballers are athletes who have reached the pinnacle of their sport and are rewarded with the best facilities, wages and equipment known to the football world. But would some pros struggle on cold sunday mornings?

Most will say no, and whilst to a degree that is right as their superior technical ability and skill will give them an edge Sunday football is a whole different ball game.

Watching the Manchester United v Newcastle match last night I couldn't help but notice how much time each player had on the ball, especially in midfield, and the severe lack of closing down from the opposition. Anyone who has ever played adult amateur football knows this is not the case at our level.

Here are some of the key issues I feel some pros would struggle with in amateur football:

Pitch Conditions

Top class players play on top class pitches, completely even, smooth and with perfect grass length. Amateur pitches are very different, uneven surfaces, pot-holes, uncut grass, and a lack of clear pitch markings on most. These pitch conditions mean even players with immaculate first touches could be undone by the bounce of the ball on these surfaces and some also make dribbling impossible.

Pitch Size

Some professional pitches are small, such as Stamford Bridge, Brittiania etc. but even they would seem like a farm compared to majority of amateur pitches. Most are smaller than one half of the Old Trafford pitch which condenses the space meaning less time on the ball and making it harder for even the clever number 10's to find space.

Lack Of Time

When watching most professional matches you hear pundits and commentators raving about how central midfield players 'control the game' and 'dictate play'. This is true as some midfielders control the whole match BUT with how much time they have on the ball is it any wonder? In amateur football, centre midfield players have time for TWO touches majority of the time, THREE at absoloute maximum! I remember watching an Arsenal match involving Cesc Fabregas when he recieved the ball in the centre circle he took SEVEN touches, held the ball for 20+seconds before eventually picking out a great pass, not that hard with that much time and his ability though really?


We see and hear all week about 'bad tackles' that fly in over the weekend but most of these challenges pale in comparison to your average Sunday league tackle.
There are a select few players who play amateur football to kick players and satisfy their own ego by acting tough with ridiculous tackles. If players have flair, pace and skill in amateur football theres a good chance he will just get kicked week in week out, but not kicks out of respect like in professional football but kicks to hurt the player and stop him playing which can eventually lead to a lack of motivation to express himself.

So which positions would cope best with amatuer football?

Goalkeepers - A position which doesn't rely on pitches, time or lack of toughness so they would cope very well.

Defenders - Old fashion defenders like Terry and Carragher would be fantastic but the new modern day defender such as fullbacks may struggle a little.

Midfielders - The worst position which would make the transition. They rely on time, respect, lack of closing down and great surfaces.

Strikers - Used to playing quick and up against tough defenders. Would adapt well once they come to grips with the poorer surfaces.

Overall most professional players would cope reasonibly well with amateur football, all would be top amateur players but majority would be half the player they are in the professional game.

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