Academics on the Ball at Football Conference; University's Pioneering Event

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), May 16, 2008 | Go to article overview

Academics on the Ball at Football Conference; University's Pioneering Event


Byline: BY MIKE CHAPPLE Daily Post Staff

LIVERPOOL is playing host to the world's first conference in Science and Soccer, which was been opened by former Scotland manager Craig Brown.

Nearly 300 delegates from clubs and sports companies from as far afield as Japan are attending the conference at Adelphi Hotel.

It has been organised by Liverpool John Moores University's School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, in collaboration with sports performance company Think Fitness.

"With no national sides qualifying for Euro 2006, there's never been a better time to debate whether the UK's football academies could learn a lesson or two from our European counterparts on how to develop home-grown talent," said Dr Barry Drust, programme leader of the LJMU's Science and Football degree course, the only one of its kind in the world.

"Professional football is a complex, high-pressure industry and this conference will enable professionals working behind the scenes on training and supporting players to find out more about the latest scientific developments in the field."

Dr Drust said that Liverpool was leading the field as a centre for soccer science: many of the course's ex-graduates were now advising training staff and players with the UK's top clubs on adapting scientific principal to getting betters performances on the field.

He added: "This could include advice on such things as the best design for a football boot to the best way to kick a ball and working with players on levels of fitness, psychology and successful strategy."

At the conference itself, Craig Brown, who played for Glasgow Rangers, Dundee and Falkirk before he moved into management took part in the opening session discussing contemporary issues in coaching practice alongside Mark Williams, LJMU's Professor of Motor Behaviour. …

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