Relationship between Aerobic Fitness and League Positional Ranking of Clubs in a Professional Soccer League over Three Competitive Seasons

Abdul Rashid Aziz, Michael J. Newton, Taisuke Kinugasa and Teh Kong Chuan

[Received July 27, 2006 ; Accepted March 22, 2007] 

This study examines the relationships between the clubs’level of aerobic fitness and their respective positional ranking as well as with the clubs’other league performance variables such as number of matches won, drawn or lost, goals scored or conceded, and total points accumulated at end of the league season, for three consecutive seasons. Outfield-position players from all clubs in the top division of the Singapore professional soccer league were tested for their aerobic fitness using the 20-m multi-stage shuttle run test (MST) at post pre-season training phase and the clubs’respective rankings and other performance variables at the end of the 2002, 2003, and 2004 league seasons were noted. There was a significant correlation between the clubsmean MST results and their league positions for 2003 (Spearman’s rho=-0.67, P=0.02), but not for 2002 and 2004 seasons (both rho=-0.37, P>0.22). Except for the variable of drawn matches in 2004, Pearson’s correlation showed no other significant relationship between the clubs’MST and their other performance variables in all three seasons (P>0.05). Given the limited validity of the 2003 data, the present evidence suggests a poor association and lack of consistency in the relationships between clubsaerobic fitness level and their league positional ranking and performance variables.

Keywords: maximal aerobic power, fitness, performance, Asian soccer

[Football Science Vol.4, 9-18, 2007]