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APIA Leichhardt have taken a step to prevent health risks in footballers by banning heading in training for kids under the age of 12, effective immediately.
The former National Soccer League club will put in place a mandate that will prevent heading being practised when football resumes.
The club agreed to the rule change after it's board, youth coaches and technical directors agreed unanimously for the change.
"When we get back to football which right now is the May 31, we don’t condone headers during training sessions," Apostolovski told FTBL.
"We won't encourage it during training and health is more important than the style of play."
The decision comes following a major study by the University of Glasgow in October 2019 where Dr. William Stewart identified "former professional footballers had an approximately three and a half times higher rate of death due to neurodegenerative disease than expected."
The study also revealed an increased risk of Alzheimer's, motor neurone and Parkinson's disease and that deaths were higher than expected over the age of 70.
The study was funded by the English Football Association (FA) and English Players Union (PFA) who moved to update their heading guidelines early this year. They were followed by the Scottish and Northern Irish associations.
APIA chairman Jim Apostolovski now wants to lobby Football Federation Australia to change the rule nationwide.
The FFA stated last month that they'd review their heading policy following the movements of the associations in the United Kingdom.
Whilst heading is rare in age groups under 12, APIA Leichhardt are looking at preventative measures to lower the risk of what we now know is a higher chance of neurodegenerative disease.
APIA put forward their interest in joining a national second division to FTBL last month.
Guidance on heading