JPL stars smash STATSports #BeReady Challenge ahead of grassroots football’s return


JPL stars smash STATSports #BeReady Challenge ahead of grassroots football’s return

Overcoming obstacles and conquering challenges is as much a part of a football player’s journey as scoring goals and winning games.

The Junior Premier League – England’s biggest youth football league with up to 20,000 boys and girls players across the country – were presented with the mother of all obstacles: how do we keep our teams active?

When the winter lockdown stopped all organised group sport in its tracks, the Junior Premier League and STATSports got our heads together and hatched a plan to keep the kids going – even if it was by remote means and on an individual basis.

Using STATSports Apex Athlete Series GPS trackers, we tasked four select players from Junior Premier League sides to take part in the #BeReady Challenge.

The quartet, using selected speed and endurance drills, had to improve performance metrics such as total distance, high speed running and max speed over four weeks. All JPL players were encouraged to join in and follow the challenges so they could level up their own game.

So who were the four stars taking part? We’re glad you asked. Here’s a little get-to-know-you with Jake, Grace, Ruby, and Ben…

Jake Cowley

Team: PSA Pro Sports Academy U14

Position: Left Wing/Midfield.

Favourite player: Bukayo Saka

Favourite team: Arsenal & Spurs (dont ask)

Best moment playing football: Both this season. Can’t decide between playing first game for Spurs on trial or Scoring first goal for Chelsea on trial

Match day routine: Listen to music on phone whilst in the car and eat fruit Pastilles

Greatest inspiration away from football: My Family.

Pro footballer whose game is similar to yours: Heung Min Son

Grace Leeks

Team: XL football academy

Position: Centre midfield

Favourite player: Steph Houghton

Favourite team: Liverpool

Best moment playing football: Scoring a hat trick for Gillingham girls rtc and getting picked by Xl academy to play in the JPL

Match day routine: Wake up, shower, travel to the game, do some stretching, then keepy ups and moving the ball round to ensure lots of touches.

Greatest Inspiration away from football: My family and friends

Pro football whose game is similar to yours: Fran Kirby or Eden Hazard

Ruby Windsor

Team: Millwall LFS

Position: Centre Mid

Favourite Player: Jordan Nobbs

Favourite Team: Charlton Athletic Football Club

Best moment playing football: When I won the Kent league cup in 2020

Match Day Routine: Wake up, put my kit on, eat Weetabix, listen to music.

Greatest inspiration away from football: My Mum, because she works so hard, to achieve her dreams.

Professional footballer whose game is similar to your: Keira Walsh

Ben Ashwin

Team: Bucks RTC

Position: Left wing back

Favourite player:  Luke Shaw

Favourite team: Manchester United

Best moment playing football: Going on tour to Holland with MK Dons and getting player of the tournament playing for the year above when I was only 8 years old. 

Match day routine: Get up have breakfast – some Weetabix and banana or beans or toast and then do strength band exercises. Travel to the match. I like to listen to music through my headphones on the way.

Greatest inspiration away from football: My Great Grandad, he has always supported me and was a great man to look up to.

Pro footballer whose game is similar to yours: Trent Alexander-Arnold as he is good at getting forward and delivering the ball into the box, and also at getting back and supporting his team mates defensively.

The return of the Junior Premier League and grassroots football

All four players smashed their goals during the challenge and had lots of fun in the process. Which is good, because football is back on March 29th and we’re excited for all young players to get back doing what they love.

If you’re the Coach of a team interested in using GPS analysis to improve your squad’s performance, our Apex Coach Series is our grassroots/amateur analysis platform. You can find out more information on that here.

Our Apex Athlete Series GPS tracker is for individual players, giving you the ability to track performance and compare your stats to some of the best players in the world. You can find out more information on that here.

Apex Athlete Series

Apex Athlete Series