From the Treatment Room

Head of Medical and Sports Science Stijn Vandenbroucke issues an update – in association with Spire Roding Hospital...

Hello everyone,

We are getting closer to the start of pre-season training on 1 July and, as you may have seen on social media this week, the players have started their personal programmes.

These programmes will enable them to reach a level of fitness before they step back onto the training pitch and into the gym and pool with their teammates next month.

We will return for one day in England before we fly to the United States for a 12-day tour which will include a training camp and two matches.

From a Medical and Sports Science point of view I have been over there and seen everything, as we – myself and our commercial director Felicity Croft – had a very thorough reconnaissance trip just after the end of the Premier League season.

In both Seattle, where we will train for a week either side of our game against the Sounders, and North Carolina, the facilities are amazing and I think it is going to be very good preparation for 2016/17.

We are training first at VMAC (Virginia Mason Athletic Center), which are the facilities of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and they have everything we could wish for – great pitches, great gymnasiums, great swimming pools and so on.

They have three outdoor grass pitches and one indoor pitch, changing rooms, weight rooms and meeting rooms, so we will be able to work very well there.

For the second part of our trip, we will be in North Carolina for our game with the Carolina RailHawks and again the facilities at WakeMed Soccer Park are very good. There, they have two floodlit outdoor pitches and four other pitches.

Now we are starting our UEFA Europa League campaign in the third qualifying round at the end of July, it makes it slightly more challenging with the time difference and the distance we are traveling, but I am sure we will plan and execute everything well.

The players are used to travelling to train and play matches with their national teams and in European competition, so I do not anticipate any issues.

The squad and the staff are very excited about starting our pre-season in a fast-growing football market in the United States.

Before I go, I would like to welcome Sofiane Feghouli to the Club. He came through his medical at Spire Roding Hospital this week and will join us for pre-season training.

Stijn Vandenbroucke
Head of Medical and Sports Science