Squad age profiles: League 1, 2018/19

Continuing today’s onslaught of end-of-season graphics for League 1, 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.

Wycombe‘s starting line-ups were the division’s oldest on average at around 28 years old – it’s not that they don’t pick young players, just that they also field a lot of old ones. Almost 38% of the Chairboys’ minutes went to players in their 30s, second only to Burton – along with Rochdale they were the only clubs with more than a third of their playing time being accumulated by players past their 20s.

Coventry were the youngest side with an average age of below 24, even edging out Barnsley and their impressively strict “nobody over 26” policy. The Sky Blues managed this by giving just over 40% of their minutes to players aged 21 or under, which was the highest in the entire EFL.