Squad age profiles: Championship, 2018-19

Continuing today’s onslaught of end-of-season graphics for the Championship, here’s an updated version of the squad age profile graphic.

These are intended to give a quick visual overview of the age of players that each club has fielded in league matches using a technique very similar to “population pyramid” graphs, although I’ll freely admit that they’ve come out with shades of the Rorschach test (or as someone observed on Twitter, the Habitat lighting range).


Hopefully they’re fairly self-explanatory, but here’s a quick summary anyway:

For each club I’ve added up all the league minutes played by every player this season and calculated the percentage accumulated by players of every age, rolling up “18 and under” and “35 and over” for neatness’ sake.

Each vertical “step” on a club’s chart is a year, with the major age milestones denoted by slightly thicker lines (as per the labels on the left). The width of the coloured graph at each step corresponds to the percentage of minutes accounted for by players of that age.

I haven’t labelled the percentage values as the graphs were already getting pretty busy and I figured that the general shape and proportions were sufficient to compare teams against each other. I may revisit this (and a few other tweaks) later in the season once I’ve done a bit more tinkering.

I’ve also calculated the average age of each club’s starting line-ups this season and used this to sort all the clubs in a division from oldest to youngest.

Hopefully that’s enough to give you the idea, so let’s dive in.

Bolton were the oldest side in the division with their average line-up clocking in at a shade under 29, including a division-high 40.4% of minutes going to players in their 30s. Promoted Sheffield United were also on the experienced side and might need an injection of youth as they adjust to the pace of the Premier League next season.

Brentford were the only club whose average starting XI were under 25 and the 3.3% of minutes they gave to players in their 30s was comfortably the lowest. Derby and Norwich deserve an honourable mention for each giving over a quarter of their minutes to players aged 21 or under.