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U21s stars put through their paces

14 January 2015

EPPP testing for Development Squad

Members of the Royals under 21s squad were put through their paces by Sports Scientists from the Premier League recently, as part of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).

The EPPP aims to improve the quality and quantity of home grown players produced by top English clubs - and testers headed down to Madejski Stadium's training dome as part of a new research project.

Youngsters including Aaron Kuhl and Dominic Samuel were took part in a series of drills to measure their power, speed and agility - with the aim being to chart the progression of footballers up and down the country.

"As with anything from the Premier League, it’s about us trying to make the British game better," said Reading's Head of Academy Sports Science Ed Franklin.

"They are testing three times a year on a variety of tests to find out what, for example, a striker does, to find out how fast a goalkeeper, defender, midfielder or striker is over a certain distance. We do speed tests over 20 metres and do splits at five, 10 and 20 metres. We do a jump test looking at vertical power and an agility test. This is a long term project that will take place over a number of seasons, creating a research study to see how players progress through the years from the age of 12 up until 21.

"The resources that are put into it allow us to analyse what we do on a day-to-day basis and to see how we can improve our methods and protocols. We’re working very closely with James Bunce from the Premier League and Dan Hunt who heads up the elite performance. We want to make sure that we maintain Category One status here and do the best we can for the players in Reading and England. Ultimately the aim is to get them into the Premier League and the England squad."

Take a look at our YouTube video below for a sample of the day.

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