Football full of energy

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With four rounds left there are still plenty of twists and turns beforeknowing which two teams will be contesting England's FA Cup Final in May 2011, but by the time the two clubs arrive at Wembley they are likely to have consumed enough energy to light up the famous stadium along the way, according to new research revealed in February 2011.

The 'Player Power' study, commissioned by energy company and FA Cup sponsor E. ON suggests that over a season the two Finalist teams will have used over 4m kilojoules, which is equivalent to powering the flood lights at Wembley for The Final. When current holder Chelsea faced Everton in 2010, the clubs had played over 100 games, with each team averaging 37, 000 kilojoules per match; equivalent to the 760, 000 watts required to light up the 380 bulbs installed in the stadium floodlights for 90 minutes. The study, which forms part of E. ON's Energy Fit campaign, investigated the average energy consumption of a professional footballer and analysed data captured from the 2010–11 FA Cup competition to identify how the modern player applies himself on the pitch during a match. Typically, in a game players make more than 1, 000 changes in activity – altering their speed of movement every four to six seconds, and covering around nine miles. On average, this intense period of activity consumes over 4, 000 kilojoules of energy, which equates to 680 watts. That's an equivalent amount of energy to light a three–bedroom house for 90 minutes, run a television for four hours or boil enough water for an entire team to enjoy a half–time cuppa. In analysing the player performance data from key games in the 2010–11 FA Cup, the report also found that Premiership rivals Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City are the powerhouses of the domestic game in more ways than one. Against Southampton in the Third Round in January 2011, Manchester United players Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs covered a combined distance of over 12 miles, using 6, 806 kilojoules of energy in the process, which is enough power to keep Sir Alex Ferguson's hairdryer going for over two hours. England and Man City midfield duo, James Milner and Adam Johnson, both covered over 15 miles in their victory over Leicester City, consuming 8, 435 kilojoules of energy – equivalent to watching 16 games of football on a 42" plasma TV. It also revealed that the FA Cup has the ability to inspire and raise theperformance levels of players outside the top flight, but it's often thetouch of international class and ruthless efficiency in front of goal thatbrings the top clubs through. As a team, Leeds United, York City andHuddersfield Town all notched up over 70 miles (almost three marathons) during their recent FA Cup matches – a tenth more than their Premiership opposition – but despite this they couldn't quite match the star qualities of individual players such as Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, who were both instrumental in keeping Arsenal in the competition, despite not playing a full game. Dr David James, senior lecturer in Sports Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University, said: " This study looked into how a modern player applies themselves on the pitch during FA Cup matches. It was interesting to see that the FA Cup really does seem to inspire teams to raise their game but as they go toe–to–toe physically, it is quite clear that how you use your energy is a critical factor. The energy consumed by each footballer was determined by looking at the time they spent in seven different 'intensity zones' during a specific match. Using this knowledge and video tracking data of specific players itwas possible to create a mathematical model to calculate the energy consumed by different footballers. The total value of energy consumed during the match can then be converted into an average 'power' rating by looking at the rate of energy consumption, which can be then applied to electrical products around the home. " As part of its campaign, E. ON's Energy Fit Experience started touring the UK starting in Sheffield on 18–20 February 2011. The Experience isan interactive exhibition which aims to raise awareness of energy efficiency by harnessing the excitement and magic of the world's oldest Cup competition, and demonstrate ways in which consumers can save money by reducing their energy bills. E. ON's Energy Fit Experience will also visit Manchester (Arndale Centre, 25–27 February), Birmingham (Bullring, 4–6 March), London (O2, 18–20 March) and Nottingham (Victoria Centre, 8–10 April).

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