Premier League news: Bournemouth introduce 'heading ban' for youth players
What's the story?
Premier League side Bournemouth have introduced a 'heading ban' for their youth players after a recent study found former footballers having a three-and-a-half times more chance of dying from neuro-degenerative diseases than the general population.
In case you didn't know...
There have been numerous reports of former football players suffering from head injuries. All-time Premier League top goalscorer, Alan Shearer, had made a documentary in 2017 called "Alan Shearer: Dementia Football and Me" regarding the link between football and dementia.
The International Football Association Board even set up an expert group to investigate the possibility of introducing concussion substitutes this week.
The heart of the matter
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has revealed to Sky Sports that the Cherries have banned heading for their youth players.
'With our young guys we have a heading ban in and around our academy. I don't know what the ages are but I know that we don't look to head footballs with our eight, nine, 10-year-olds because their brains are still developing, without going into the science too much.
So we certainly want to protect the next generation.
Using softer balls is something we have spoken about here with some of the players to improve their technique, and then they don't have to head the real ball until their brains are older and they have developed and their skulls can take the impact in a better way.
He also added about the difference between his playing days and how different it is today:
"When I look back and think of the number of heading sessions that I did; huge, huge numbers.
I did a lot of work with bigger and heavier footballs than we have now, obviously I don't want dementia and I don't want dementia for anyone else in the world. But my own journey, would I have changed it? No.
But it is something that needs looking into to protect the next generation of footballers, if it is a direct link then we need to look at what we do"
Howe and his men will be looking for their fourth win of the season when they travel to Vicarage road to face an out-of-form Watford.
Published 26 Oct 2019, 13:25 IST