Players from Wrexham AFC Youth team have been put through their paces – with a little help from students on Wrexham Glyndwr University’s Sports Science and Coaching degrees.
The team were tested on the Nice Acre Field site in Wrexham, where the students ran a series of assessments designed to measure their fitness and resilience. The pre-season fitness testing sessions were first run on the day players returned to training after the summer break, and took place again after players had been put through a six-week training programme led by Wrexham AFC Head of Youth Dan Nolan.
The sport science team conducted a battery of different tests including sprint tests, agility tests and aerobic endurance tests.
Football coaching student Martin Jones, who has just completed a foundation year as a student at Glyndwr and is about to progress onto a full BSc, said: “I really enjoyed putting the knowledge I have gained at Glyndwr University to practical use.
“It’s really satisfying to see the youth players’ development within their pre-season training, and I have also applied the same techniques to my own coaching within the Wrexham Ladies pre-season.
“I started the Football Coaching and the Performance Specialist BSc degree a year ago. The physiology side is not an area I would not have considered before I joined the course, but the delivery of the lectures and the support I have received have made me consider this area for a future career path.”
The day was one of several which Glyndwr students will be taking part in over the coming football season as part of a partnership between Wrexham AFC’s Centre of Excellence and Wrexham Glyndwr University.
The Centre of Excellence will also be using facilities at the £5 million Colliers Park National Football Development Centre, after an agreement was signed between Wrexham AFC and the Football Association of Wales.
The Football Development Centre has been developed by the FAW in partnership with Wrexham Glyndwr University.
Head of Youth at Wrexham AFC, Dan Nolan, added: “It has been fantastic to have Glyndwr University working with our youth team this pre-season. Testing was performed on the first day of pre-season and again at the end of the pre-season training block to highlight the areas we have improved our physical conditioning through our periodized training programme.
“We also now have a base line fitness level leading in to the season, which we will use to determine players’ physical readiness for competitive football following any prolonged lay-off from training.
“This will be a big advantage as we look to minimise any risk of injury re-occurrence when integrating individuals back into full training.”
And Sport Science Technician at Wrexham Glyndwr University, Richard Lewis, added: “The data from the testing sessions allows Dan and the coaching staff to assess the overall fitness of the players. This will be useful for monitoring the players over the course of the new season, particularly with players returning from injury.
“We’d like to thank Dan and the team for allowing our students to gain valuable applied experience and wish them all the best for the new season.”
Find out more about Glyndwr’s Football and the Performance Specialist degree here: https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/Undergraduatecourses/FootballCoachingandthePerformanceSpecialist/