Leading Edge has recently formed a relationship with Adelaide United Football Club, the current A-League Premiers.
One of our Physiotherapists, Mat Prior, has been appointed as the Lead Physiotherapist for “The Reds” for the 2016-17 season and is already putting the Leading Edge touch on the club’s preparation for the upcoming season.
We recently caught up with Mat, and found out a bit more about the role and how The Reds are looking for this year’s A-League.
Congratulations Mat On Being Appointed As The Head Physiotherapist With Adelaide United FC. What Is Your Background In The Sport?
Whilst I’ve played football, my main background in the sport is as a physio – having worked for 7 years as the physio with a local NPL team, and more recently as head physio with the Pararoos, the Australian National Paralympic Football team, since 2015.
I’ve also been fortunate enough to have worked with Adelaide United before with their W-League team, in 2011/12.
When Were You Appointed To The Role, And What Is The Time Commitment?
I was appointed to the role at the start of the pre-season in July this year. As for the time commitment, it’s a full-time role, although when travelling with the team or looking after them during games, it quickly becomes more than full-time!
What Does Your Typical Day Involve?
For the medical team, the usual training day starts at 8 or 8.30, when we’ll start assessing and treating players.
Obviously we’ve got players who are out injured who we need to rehab, but we also have players with ongoing issues that need to be managed and looked after so they can continue to train and play.
Training itself starts at 10.30 usually, and whilst the main group are training, I’ll be taking players in the rehab group for field work sessions, such as running drills, agility work and so on – whatever their rehab dictates.
Whilst everything might be packed up and players start to leave after lunchtime, the day doesn’t stop there – usually there are meetings or appointments with other coaches and medical staff in the afternoon.
Planning rehab progressions, both for the next day and also longer term, also takes up a good chunk of the rest of the day.
Being a big club, there are lots of relevant people to communicate info with – and this is even more so if it’s to do with a player who is also with a national team squad; the phone and email definitely gets a workout!
Is There Much Travelling Involved? How Do Your Duties Change When You Are On The Road Versus When You Are Based In Adelaide?
In the A-League season, interstate travel works out to be roughly every other week; although this year the club is also participating in the Asian Champions League, which will mean travelling at least three times into Asia early next year.
Travel can be challenging; the duties are the same, but the logistics of organising medical equipment, facilities and any medical reviews while overseas add another layer of complexity, and can mean some pretty long days!
How Is The 2016/2017 A-League Shaping Up For The Reds?
It’s shaping up to be an exciting season, not only seeing how the team go defending their A-League title from last season, but also tackling some of Asia’s biggest teams in the Asian Champions League.
Like we saw last year, the A-League season is long, and anything can happen!