The health and wellbeing of professional footballers are vital concerns of Professional Footballers Australia (PFA). The PFA’s concern is amplified by the fact that the career of a professional footballer is, by its nature, precarious, short term and one of constant transition.
For the continued growth and success of the competition, protecting the health and safety of A-League players is essential. A-League clubs have a responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of players by providing a working environment which is free from any unreasonable risk to their health and safety.
Effective injury prevention and management practices are essential for clubs to successfully fulfil this responsibility.
The PFA A-League Injury Report collates and analyses available data to measure the impact and extent of injury within the A-League. It does so by reference to important considerations such as games missed, injury type and the number of players injured during the course of the season.
The report shows the continuing relationship between injury rates and on-field success, providing a positive incentive for clubs to invest in their medical teams.
In 2008/2009, the 3rd edition of the PFA Injury Report identified troubling trends that were emerging in terms of injuries, and noted the need for ongoing monitoring, review and intervention. These included but were not limited to:
• the total number of games missed through injury for all A-League clubs increasing;
• the incidence of soft tissue injuries remaining significant, and
• injury rates worsening as seasons approach their end.
A-League Minimum Medical Standards were mandated prior to the start of the 2011/12 A-League season and, as the latest edition of the PFA Injury Report (Edition 7) shows, have contributed to a significant reduction in the number and frequency of injuries to footballers, as well as the length of time footballers are sidelined due to injury.
It was clear prior to the introduction of minimum medical standards that effective player injury prevention and management practices in the A-League required ever increasing focus, and the improvement in injury statistics since 2011/12 illustrate that the game is moving in the right direction.
To view the latest PFA Injury Report (edition 7) click here
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