Training Ground Guru | Wolves appoint six new staff in overhaul of medicine and performance


Written by Simon Austin – September 8, 2021

WOLVES announced a major overhaul of its medical and performance department, involving the hiring of six new staff members and a change in roles and responsibilities for several more.

Dr Rob Chakraverty, who arrived in May 2020 as a sports doctor, has been promoted to head of the service. The former England national team doctor and UK Athletics chief medical officer will have the new title of performance and medicine manager.

Somewhere else, Tom farrow happens like Head of Sports Sciences, having been a strength and conditioning coach with the England team and the GB Rugby 7s team. Ben macdonald had been named Head Physio after three and a half years as Lead Physio for British Cycling.

When Nuno Espirito Santo left the club at the end of last season, six staff members accompanied him. When Bruno Lage arrived, six staff members accompanied him, including Carlos Cachada as a physical trainer.

“When we were looking at how we thought the structure could be improved, we felt that the identity of Wolves’ performance department and medical department depended a lot on the current coach,” Chakraverty said on the club’s official website. .

“The last head coach brought in his own staff and his own ways of working, which transformed the club, but they left and Wolves had to rethink to move the club forward.

“Jeff [Shi, Executive Chairman] and Scott [Sellars, Technical Director] wanted the new head coach to bring in the necessary staff, but they also want us to create a new Wolves identity that is strong, where the infrastructure, processes and working methods flourish independently of the head coach and staff place.

“As a performance and medicine department, we need to support the coaching team in the way they work, but we also need to create something that offers more consistency and longevity. To achieve this, we made a plan for the structure we needed and the staff we would need to make it successful. “

Chakraverty added that he was keen to recruit outside of football as well as inside for the new roles.

“To create the support team we needed, we appreciated the need to strike a balance between people who have a lot of football experience and those who have other elite sport experience. This allows for diversity of thought where people with new ideas can verify and challenge the status quo.

“Unless you’ve lived outside of football, these questions are often not asked and other ways are not considered. We’re trying to create a freshness, to bring in people with bright minds, open minds, who may well have strong ideas but have the humility to hold them loose, which means they don’t have to. hold on to these ideas no matter what situation we find ourselves in.

“Everyone we recruit must uphold the five Wolves values ​​- progressive, bright, humble, unity and determination.”

Chakraverty also explained the reasons for the new role of chief medical officer for Perry, who has been involved with Wolves for 33 years and previously was the club’s doctor.

“Matt can make sure the backbone of the club is taken care of,” he said. “It’s a very strategic direction for us, ‘these are his strengths – he’s the wolves, he’s the story’ and without him we couldn’t do this job.

“He will ensure that we take care of all aspects of player health across the club, including but not limited to player cardiac screening, vaccinations, blood tests and our clinical governance,” because unless these are taken care of, we may not be able to focus efforts on the performance side.

It’s unusual to have a full-time nurse on a club’s first team, but Chakraverty said Rich’s appointment was crucial.

“When I was asked who was the first staff member I wanted, it was a nurse, without a doubt,” he said. “Someone who could help with a lot of the heavy responsibilities of handling Covid issues at the club because it turned out to be such a pressure for a lot of other Wolves staff last year, as it was for all other clubs and even the country.

“Last season, although we tried, we weren’t able to devote as much time to the performance as we were being pulled in all directions to deal with everything related to the virus, whether it was as far as the players were concerned. or infected personnel, isolation from contacts. or implement protocols.

“We felt we needed someone in place who could be the focal point to take shared responsibility in dealing with all of these related issues.

“Now we are entering our second full season where Covid remains an important factor, that role remains important. However, we have since considered expanding that role to become much more, a role that looks at all aspects of protecting the health of all of our players across the club and we have been fortunate to have to have found a great person. “

Wolves reported 99% player uptime in 2018/19, but had more injury issues last season.

“When it comes to minimizing the impact of injuries on the progress of clubs, it is always a question of very good communication between the doctor, the physio, the science and the coach, with the central player,” said said Chakraverty.

“Injuries happen in football as in all sports. It is a joint responsibility. Everyone takes responsibility for success, and everyone has to take responsibility, more importantly, for failure, and you learn from it every time; and generally, communication – or lack of, or fear of – is an underlying factor.

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