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Objective: To investigate the influence of physical fitness on peak periods of match-play. Methods: Forty-three female Australian footballers from three teams wore global positioning system units in matches during one competitive season. The Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test (Level 1) was conducted as an estimate of physical fitness. One-, two-, three-, four- and five-minute rolling periods were analysed in order to determine the “peak” and “subsequent” periods during match-play. Results: Midfielders covered greater distances during peak periods than half-line players (Effect size, ES range = 0.33–0.86; likelihood ≥76%). Nomeaningful differences were reported between positional groups for high-speed distances during the peak periods, with the exception of half-liners covering greater distance during the 1-minute period (ES = 0.38; likelihood = 80%).Higher fitness players covered greater peak total and high-speed (ES range = 0.70–1.16; likelihood ≥94%) distances than lower fitness players, irrespective of position. Higher fitness midfielders covered greater high-speed distances during the 1 to 3-minute subsequent periods than lower fitness midfielders (ES range = 0.46–0.71; likelihood ≥81%). Half-liners with greater Yo-Yo performances covered greater relative total and low-speed (ES range = 0.47–0.70; likelihood ≥76%) distances during the subsequent periods than lower fitness players. Conclusion: Developing physical fitness may enable greater peak and subsequent period performances and improve players’ abilities to maintain higher average match intensities.


School of Exercise Science

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Journal Article

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