The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY -

OVER in the States, kids un­der ten have been banned from head­ing foot­balls.

This mir­rors a sim­i­lar ban I’ve im­posed on my­self for the last 34 years.

To this day, I’ll seek any means pos­si­ble to duck out of a header.

It hurts, your head gets wet and some big lad in­vari­ably clat­ters you on the way up. When it comes to play­ing foot­ball in the sky, I’m with Brian Clough all the way.

Nat­u­rally, then, I’d love to see the UK fol­low suit.

Mainly be­cause re­search has re­peat­edly shown that ex­pos­ing young brains to con­cus­sive forces can dam­age de­vel­op­ment.

Even older ones aren’t im­mune. Just re­mem­ber the sad demise of Jeff As­tle.

But a head­ing ban would also mean young­sters grew up with no no­tion of any­thing but short-range, pass­ing foot­ball.

Tech­nique would pre­vail over size and ath­leti­cism.

Neymar, Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez were all raised on futsal, a game with a small, foam-filled ball played al­most ex­clu­sively on the deck.

It hasn’t done them any harm and it wouldn’t hurt our kids ei­ther.

Un­like head­ing a soggy size five!

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