Irvine: Everton developing players for 10-year changes in game

Everton academy coach Alan Irvine admits they're working with juniors players conscious of the changes the game will face over the next ten years.

Everton academy coach Alan Irvine admits they're working with juniors players conscious of the changes the game will face over the next ten years.

Among several changes, Irvine sees the game speeding up.

"We’re trying to anticipate where the game is going in the next 10 years. What will the game look like for our nine-year-olds when they’re 19?

“I think it will be less physical in terms of contact. Defenders will need to be better at defending without smashing into people. Positional sense will have to be better, as will spoiling and pressing.

“I think it will be even faster. The ball will move quicker. It will be even more open then it is now, with the game moving quickly from end to end.

“That’s why we need to be better technically as it goes on – making better decisions with less time.

“At the moment the top players at the top level in midfield get maybe two touches in two seconds. If they have any more they’ll probably get challenged and lose the ball.”

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