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FA cautions players against wearing mini shin pads like Manchester City’s Jack Grealish





Junior footballers are being discouraged from copying Premier League superstars like Jack Grealish by wearing mini – or micro – shin pads.

The 28-year-old Manchester City winger is among the players to have made famous the minuscule shin guards that are little more than the size of a train ticket.

Jack Grealish playing for Manchester City. Credit: Alex Dodd, CameraSport.
Jack Grealish playing for Manchester City. Credit: Alex Dodd, CameraSport.

Why some professional footballers have taken to wearing the miniature pads – together with low or ankle socks – has been the subject of considerable debate during the last season.

While Jack himself, in a GQ interview, was quoted as saying it is ‘just something I’ve always done’.

But with the trend now filtering down to grassroots leagues and younger players, Football Association bosses have stepped in and warned footballers they are at an increased risk of injury if they adopt the look of their idols.

The FA is asking players to make sure their shins are properly covererd with pads. Image: iStock.
The FA is asking players to make sure their shins are properly covererd with pads. Image: iStock.

In issuing extra guidance the FA is reminding players shin guards are a ‘compulsory’ piece of equipment and therefore the amount of shin physically covered by the guard is an important consideration.

It explains: “Micro” or “Mini” shin pads may therefore increase the risk of injury due to the smaller amount of shin covered compared to larger sized shin pads.

“We advise that when considering the protection offered by shin pads, safety is prioritised by ensuring a good proportion of the shin area is covered and therefore protected.”

Kent’s Football Association says it too is directing clubs and coaches to the new guidance. Image: iStock photo.
Kent’s Football Association says it too is directing clubs and coaches to the new guidance. Image: iStock photo.

The new FA notice also expresses caution about only choosing shin pads with a CE mark – that will indicate that the guard’s make and materials meet the required standard.

It adds: “Please give these protection levels serious consideration when deciding what is the right shin pad for you or for your child.”



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