Club inspections launched over A-League injury toll

Professional Footballers Australia will introduce ‘site inspections’ in the 2014/15 A-League campaign after games missed through injury spiked by 30 per cent last season.

In all, injuries cost clubs $4.74 million in 2013/14, a jump of $700,000 on the previous year. A total 704 games were missed through injury, up from the 2012/13 season’s total of 542.

Knee, groin and hamstring problems remain the most common injuries suffered by players.

The report revealed that 124 players were injured last season with an average of 4.4 games missed per player.

The findings were revealed on Monday in the 8th edition of the player union's A-League Injury Report.

Sydney FC suffered the highest number of injuries (23) while Central Coast Mariners had the least. And Sky Blues players missed a total of 118 games to injury compared with Melbourne Victory’s 30.

Only two of the 10 clubs – Victory and Melbourne City (Heart) – reduced the number of player injuries and the number of games missed through injury.

It is the first time the league has witnessed the rise since Minimum Medical Standards were mandated in 2011/12.

Despite a spike in the amount of games missed, the number of injuries sustained remained at 162, equal to the previous campaign.

PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian said the report’s findings raised concerns as to “whether the Minimum Medical Standards remain adequate or whether they are being complied with.

“As a result of these concerns the PFA will introduce site inspections for the coming A-League season with the aim of working with the clubs and Football Federation Australia (FFA) to ensure a truly ‘world class’ workplace for our members,” Vivian said.

“Throughout the history of the A-League the Injury Report has repeatedly highlighted the link between the on field performance of clubs and injury.

“If the standard of the competition is to continue to rise it is vital that clubs are able to field their best possible teams. At points throughout the 2013/14 season this was not the case with some clubs on occasions being unable to field up to six members of their squad due to injury.”