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CFCCAN
Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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Couldn't find a section to place this in, but thought it might be an interesting topic given the latest developments re the experiment of 12 year olds no longer heading the ball.  Listening to Talksport the other day and again listening to Jeff Astle's (those that remember him) daughter who has been championing the cause of no heading, and hoping to change how the beautiful game is played.  Given that her dad suffered from dementia as a result of heading the ball, something that was his trademark, I'm sure we all feel her pain, but will this experiment continue to grow and eventually change the entire game that we have come to love.

I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day, who despite being a few years younger, like me remembers the 'good old days' when the heavy leather balls were laced up, covered in dubbin and filled with a rubber bladder.  And despite the gallons of dubbin on the ball, when it got wet you were lucky to get it off the ground, especially with your 'toe punters' on.  Heading was like someone smacking you on the head with a bag of cement.  With that said, it is perhaps understandable that the likes of Astle and many other great centre forwards and centre halves suffered later in life.  My uncle for one, used to play CH semi-pro during the 60's and 70's and in later life suffered from dementia before passing away.   The balls of course over generations have been developed and manufactured to be lighter, swerve etc, so light that players today are virtually playing in slippers with studs and not hobnail boots, with 6" nails used to attach the leather studs or at least that's what they felt like as the nails punctured the soles of your feet. 

During the discussion on Talk Sport a caller made the comment about the older balls and how heavy they were, and would no doubt have been a contributing factor towards head injuries.  To my surprise this was dismissed and it was stated that it is the speed of the ball causing the injury, not the weight.   

All this got me wondering, how will the game look in 5-10-15 years from now?  Will heading still be a part of the game? Will the typical tall, strong CF position become non and void?  Will the game be a totally different concept than what it is today and be more like 5 aside and ball no greater than shoulder height?  Thoughts...

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