Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Stuart: Preparing and Repairing

27 July 2012

Find out what Antony Stuart gets up to behind the scenes...

Supporters, unfamiliar with the medical world, may wonder the role of Albion's two sports therapists Antony Stuart and Dean Lobb when they're located on the bench at every Albion game, but their merit is earned in the changing rooms and at the training ground.

The duo work closely with the physiotherapists to identify techniques and strategies to prevent injury, while designing and performing rehabilitation programmes for injured players.

Anthony travelled down from Glasgow to take up his position a year ago and he explained, "We do a lot of treatments which include taping techniques, sports massages, stretching and together we ensure we have the best influence on the players.

"Prehab is all about core stability exercises and injury prevention activities that are designed for specific injuries which have been suffered before, or perhaps weaknesses which have been identified through our pre-season work.

"Then we'll work with players throughout their rehab programme to apply techniques like strapping for someone who is coming back from injury. We all give input and together we come up with a plan for individual players, but my role is mainly soft tissue based, rather than diagnosing an injury."

Prior to every training session and game, players will go through their pre-match preparation routines with the sports therapists, and that means that the duo have their work cut out during the pre-season programme in particular.

"On this trip there has been a lot of strapping for us to do because a number of the players will have strapping twice a day, for the morning and the evening training sessions - and that could be followed by massages.

"Then during games some players will come into the changing room at half-time and Dean and myself will be working away throughout the 15-minute break.

"We'll be ready to work on them when they arrive before the game, at half-time or at the final whistle. Some of the players will need work doing during the manager's team-talk but hopefully after some good work we've done during pre-season there will be very few problems throughout the season.

"Particularly demanding games like the trip to Wrexham, when it went to extra-time and penalties, call for massages to keep the lads' muscles loose when they have put in a big shift."

Yet to the untrained eye a strapping or massage may look like any other, but Stuart and Dean's work will vary depending on the individual athletes and the extent of their football career.

"Everything is individualised because we all know that no two people are the same. Everyone is different so we put together different techniques on different players.

"We have different ages, different physiques and players with different past injuries in the squad so it takes its time to put together, but we know a lot about this squad.

"We will give individuals a series of exercises which they can carry out every morning, every other morning or during the afternoon to prevent anything from happening."

Antony arrived at the Amex after collecting extensive experience in the Scottish top-flight with Motherwell and Gretna, and he admitted that the lure of a position within the Football League Championship was too great turn down.

"It's great because there is such an emphasis on the medical department at this club. I've been to smaller clubs where there are literally two members of staff in each department, so myself and a physio looking after under-16s, under-17s and a first-team squad too.

"Down here we can prioritise our time a lot more and offer more time to one person. We have a great set-up here and that's the way it should be.

"This is a great job at a big Championship club while I'm at a young age. I didn't realise quite how big the club was until I came down for my interview, but it gave me the wow factor. The atmosphere here is unbelievable too."

Advertisement block