Coventry City’s Medical and Performance team have been awarded the Football Medicine and Performance Association (FMPA) League One Award for the 2019/20 season.
The Award acknowledges the work of Medical and Performance teams that make a substantial contribution to the success of their Clubs on the field of play.
Coventry City’s Medical and Performance team collected their award at Ryton this week – pictured are Abbie Forman (Sports Scientist), Andy Young (Senior Fitness Coach), Marcus Drake (Soft Tissue Therapist), Paul Godfrey (Head of Medical), Adam Hearn (Head of Sports Science) and Liam Stanley (Assistant Physiotherapist)
Head of Medical Paul Godfrey said:
“The FMPA like to recognise the team behind the team. The league winning teams in the EFL have received the awards this year because they want to ensure we’re all recognised for working towards that goal.
“Just as the Manager and the coaches, players etc get the adulation of promotion, the FMPA are trying to ensure that Medical and Sport Science are equally promoted and recognised for playing our part.”
Paul reflected on the hard work that goes on behind-the-scenes with players, and the satisfaction of seeing injured players return to action to play their part for the Sky Blues.
“When the players are off we may well be in with injured players and through the Summer to try and get the players back in a timely fashion, so we put the hours in to try and do what we can to keep the boys fit, and if they’re injured get them back as soon as we can,” said Paul.
“I think the best part of my job is on a Saturday when the lads, particularly the long-term injured, are back on the pitch and they perform well. Whether they score or are part of the three points we pick up after a win, it’s probably the most enjoyable part.”
2019/20 was Paul’s first season with Coventry City and despite challenges, saw the Sky Blues win the title.
“It was a really good season,” said the Sky Blues’ Head of Medical.
“I’ve been fortunate at some of the Clubs I’ve been at and won promotions before, but this was great. It was a challenging season towards the end, with the COVID situation etc, but it’s always nice to get a promotion but particularly to get into the Championship.
“I think it’s another step up and another test for everyone concerned with the Club. I think it will test everyone’s abilities in their various departments.”
Adam Hearn, Head of Sports Science, said that the award was testament to the team effort in the Department and staff brought in to work alongside the full-time members of the team:
“It’s a real team effort, and this is a great award for the Club and everyone involved in the Department,” said Adam.
“I’d like to thank Coventry University who have allowed us to have work placement students in. Last year we had Abbie Forman, Dylan Palmer and John Brain. This award is especially rewarding for them. Without those guys, myself and Andy couldn’t have done our jobs as effectively as we did. We have brought Abbie in full-time as Sports Scientist now, which is testament to her and the support the Club has for the work being done.
“We’ve also had Lisa O’Halloran, our performance psychologist, who joined us at the start of last season. She’s a lecturer at the University and comes in part-time to ensure our department provides a holistic programme.
Adam also thanked Manager Mark Robins for his role in the work that the department does.
“I’d also like to thank the Gaffer, this would not have been achievable without him,” said Adam.
“He has brought in all of his staff, and he trusts us to do what we’re there to do. He also challenges us, and we challenge each other in the Department and I think that’s why me and Paul work quite well together.
“The pandemic itself was catastrophic for the world, but for myself personally and professionally it helped me along a bit. I wasn’t furloughed so I got to work with the Manager on a closer basis because he was reliant on me doing other things and extra things to help keep the players fit during that period.”
“Our main role is to support the Manager, and our main KPI is three points on matchday – regardless of what we do behind the scenes, we’re all working towards that goal.”
Finally, the Sky Blues’ Head of Sports Science praised the squad for their approach to their day-to-day work at Ryton.
“We couldn’t have achieved the award without the players,” said Hearn.
“The players are unbelievable. We’ve got quite a young squad and they are constantly learning and wanting to improve. Last season they were outstanding, and easily the most compliant group that I’ve worked with ever and I’ve been at a lot of clubs. They would challenge you, just because they want to know more information to help them improve.
“If we’re in the gym doing an exercise, they will want to know why they are doing it and want it explaining to them. They are competitive with each other too – in the gym and outside doing their sprints, and on pitch. That was great and hopefully we can carry that on this year.”
Manager Mark Robins said:
“The award for our Medical and Performance team is richly deserved, and they can be very proud of the achievement. They do a huge amount of work each day at the training ground and on matchdays too, all to ensure the squad is in the best possible shape and available to be selected.
“The work of those in the Department, plus the staff they have supporting them too, played a vital part in the success we enjoyed last season and they deserve a lot of credit for that.”