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Backroom staff interview

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Exclusive interview with Bury FC physio Tom Walsh
and nutritionist Dave Tivey

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Were you ever interested in becoming footballers?
Tom: All I ever wanted to be was a footballer, but I wasn’t good enough (pulls a sad face).
Dave: Yeah I was the same; when I was at school and I was playing in the yard that’s all I wanted to be…but I never got the chance.

How did you become involved in football?
Tom: For me it was just through being at university and getting the work placement here at Bury and it just carried on from there.
Dave: A few of my mates played as pros and semi-pros so I wanted to get involved. I started coaching and that led to me doing my Sports Science degree and I ended up here at Bury.

As elite fitness is achieved, does the incidence of injury increase?
Dave: No it’s the other way round. The fitter you get, the stronger you get so the less likely you are to get a pull, a strain or a knock.

Does having a nutritionist on hand help facilitate speedier recovery from injury?
Tom: It does help but we can’t control the players every single hour of the day. We can control what they eat when they’re here but you can’t put them on a lead and say your coming home with me tonight to ensure they’re eating correctly. It isn’t to say that they won’t go out and get McDonalds, KFC, Haribo’s or whatever they want.
Dave: After the game we want to fuel them back up. There’s a two hour window were you can get as much as you can into them.

So the days of fish and chips on the team bus haven’t completely gone then?
Tom: No. To be honest after a game we can really give them anything.
Dave: We haven’t given them fish and chips yet this season! It’s usually things like pizza – anything that’s full of high carbs really just so that it can restore their muscle energy.

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Dave, how do you keep them on the straight and narrow when it comes to nutrition?
Dave: We just need to give them advice, keep on top of them, and ask questions. It really is a case of looking with your eyes in the dressing room and on the pitch, looking to see if there is anything different and keep on top of the situation by having a word with them.
Tom: You can always tell the players who are eating right.

If one of the players doesn’t take your advice and instructions on what are the consequences?
Tom: They get fined!

If you could change one thing about the game what would it be?
Tom: The introduction of a winter break, starting from December. I say this because of the weather and amount of games that are played in a short space of time.
Dave: Yes I agree with a winter break would help the accumulation of fatigue through all of the players.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received, and who was the source of that advice?
Tom: ‘Always cover your back’. That was from Alan Bent.
Dave: ‘Always test yourself & keep yourself on your toes’. Mine was from a coach at Everton called Andy Holden who’s no longer at the club.

Do you have favourites within the team? If so who?
Tom: Yep, the ones who don’t get injured! No, I wouldn’t say there’s any favourites but you become close with the lads that are injured or that have been out for a while because you’re with them everyday.
Dave: The ones who don’t cramp up. The ones who are the fittest.

There’s a lot of talk about injury prevention – what is injury prevention?
Dave: Injury prevention is a number of things for both myself and Tom. We have to track the workload of the players to make sure that they are not over training. Then there’s pre-match work where we are indentifying weaknesses in players where they may have struggled with injuries in the past, or where they are weaker in one area than another area. We then have to build them up by strengthening the weakened area to prevent an injury occurring.

FAVOURITES:

Film:

Tom: Ace Ventura, it’s a class film!
Dave: Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

TV:

Tom: The Inbetweeners
Dave: Prison Break

Song:

Tom: I don’t know I don’t really have a favourite song.
Dave: Kings of Leon ‘Use Somebody’

Food:

Tom: KFC
Dave: Anything, I’ll eat anything!

Drink:

Tom: Beer
Dave: Vodka

Best Dressed in the team:

Tom: Myself!
Dave: I reckon Phil Picken you know
Tom: Yeah he’s a decent dresser. Go with Phil Picken.

Worst Dressed:

Tom: Jessy Reindorf
Dave: Euan Holden

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