Squad age profiles: League 2, 10 Apr 2020
These graphics 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.
Newly-promoted Salford have put out the oldest starting line-ups so far, with almost 40% of their minutes having been racked up by players in their 30s compared with around 4% by those aged 21 or under.
At the other end of the scale are Forest Green and Macclesfield who both have an average starting line-up which is over a year younger than anyone else’s. However it’s Crewe who are giving the highest share of playing time to young players, with over one minute in every three going to someone aged 21 or younger.