August is the cruellest/kindest month…

Continuing the football theme, David McWilliams argues that it is not a bit of wonder that some of the best talent in Irish soccer is made up disproportionately of August born kids, since:

The reason so many good footballers are born in August – or just after – is that they are better at football at a younger age . They get picked for the team. They are rarely the last kid selected, not just because they are innately better, but largely because they are muscularly bigger. They then think that they are good at football. They begin to love it. They practise more, get more encouragement and the virtuous cycle takes hold.

But, he adds, according to new research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies August babies suffer in other ways:

‘‘August-born girls (boys) are, on average, 26.4 (24.9) percentage points less likely to reach the expected level of achievement than September-born girls (boys) when they are five,14.4 (13.9) percentage points less likely to reach the expected level when they are seven, 8.3 (9.1) percentage points less likely to reach the expected level at 13, 5.5 (6.1) percentage points less likely to reach the expected level at 16 and 2.0 (1.7) percentage points less likely to reach the expected level at 17,”

His advice to those of us who may be planning an addition to the family:

Go now and your chances of a future Keano increase. Go later – just after Christmas – and Grey’s Anatomy awaits.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty