Fighting fit! Ipswich Town players put through their paces in pre-season fitness tests
PUBLISHED: 08:15 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:15 18 July 2018
They might not be playing matches at the highest level week-in, week-out - but the hard graft doesn't stop for these Ipswich players, even in pre-season.
When you’re targeting success, preparation is everything - so these first-team Town players have spent time in the University of Suffolk’s Human Performance Laboratory for pre-season fitness analysis.
Several of the university’s sport science degrees are run in partnership with Ipswich Town, but this is the first time the club has used the facilities with first-team players.
As well as putting Town players through their paces, students have used specialist equipment such as a Biodex Isokinetic machine to test how match-fit they are.
“The machine measures forces. You can use it for the whole body but we are particularly focusing on the knee joint,” said Jimmy Reynolds, head of sport science and medicine at Ipswich Town Football Club.
“We are looking at whether the hamstrings and quad strips are producing enough force, pound for pound for their body weight.
“We are looking at the injury risk for each individual, how quickly they can produce that force and any areas to improve on.
“We can then design a programme that will be suitable for them to progress as an athlete and as a footballer.”
Mr Reynolds said students also benefit, as they get to analyse statistical data on the players’ fitness.
Nathan Winder, newly-appointed sport scientist at Ipswich Town Football Club, added: “We’re here to get some physical data on the lads to give us an overview to see how they are, what condition they’re in.
“At the end of pre-season, we’ll do some more tests and see how well they’ve improved. It also gives us a marker for the rest of the season.
“We’ve got a mixture of first team players and under-23s. It is good to integrate the youngsters coming through with the first team and vice versa - for the pros to see the young lads coming through.
“It is really good to be using the link with the university, for sport science and for the physical development of the players. There’s testing and exercises we can do at the training ground but being at the university adds another dimension. It is fantastic to have the use of these facilities.”