Squad age profiles: League 2, 2018/19

Continuing today’s onslaught of end-of-season graphics for League 2, 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.

Bury and Tranmere both deployed starting line-ups with an average age pushing 29, with the Shakers giving an EFL-high 44.1% of minutes to players already in their 30s. Carlisle weren’t far behind with 42.0%, so we could see a fair bit of churn at both clubs this summer.

Meanwhile over at Forest Green the starting XI tended to be a shade over 25 and just 10.8% of minutes going to 30-somethings: the division’s lowest proportion. Crewe and Oldham were the more passionate champions of youth however, with both giving just over 36% of their minutes to players aged 21 or under.