Each manager normally has more than 11 players from whom to choose his team; this is called a squad. The best 11 players available will normally form the team.

What are the requirements to form a squad?

In soccer, each league or Football Association have their own set of requirements to form a full squad to compete through a full season. These requirements can vary from squad size to the inclusion of ‘homegrown’ or ‘foreign’ players.

For example, the English Premier League requires:

  • A maximum squad size of 25 professional players.
  • Within this 25 player squad, it is required to include a minimum of 8 ‘homegrown players’ (these are players of any nationality who have played for an English FA club at least 3 years before they reach the age of 21.)
  • There is no limit to the number of academy or youth players that can be played throughout the season; however, they must have the correct professional contract.

Can the squad be changed throughout a season?

In soccer all playing squads must be registered at the end of each transfer window period, depending on when the season starts.

This usually happens at the end of the summer and winter periods for many nations but can change in different parts of the world. For example, some associations start their seasons at different times of the year, thus requiring different registration periods.

Squads can be changed in these transfer windows if all player requirements are met and respected.