The aim of this research was to identify somatotype differences between different age categories of young soccer players. In accordance with the aim, a sample of 274 young soccer players was divided into three groups (beginners N1 = 48, pioneers N2 = 111 and cadets N3 = 115). Somatotypes were assessed using the Heath-Carter method. Reliability of the obtained data was satisfactory (technical error of measurement [TEM] range: 1.11–4.11, coefficient of variation [CV] range: 0.03–0.09). A one-way between-subjects ANOVA together with Bonferroni correction revealed significant differences between groups in all somatotype components. The results indicated that the youngest players had a more pronounced endomorphic component (p < 0.05), which decreased with years of training, and the ectomorphic component became most evident in the pioneers, but then decreased again. In addition, with years of training, the mesomorphic component became less pronounced. The observed differences indicated the existence of nonlinear and complex interaction dynamics of somatotype components that are not only under the influence of soccer training but also growth and development. These results can contribute to understanding the interactions and dynamics of somatotype components of different generations of young soccer players. The results also provide relevant information necessary for the precise identification of morphological characteristics of young soccer players, as well as the modelling of the training process aimed at maximizing playing potentials and competitive outcomes.
KEY WORDS: Anthropometric characteristics; Morphology; Heath-Carter; selection.