Sports science experts help Swansea City team prepare for new season

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With another Premier League season about to kick off, Swansea City FC players have been undergoing fitness testing at Swansea University’s sports village, to make sure they are in the best possible shape. They’ve been working alongside our Elite and Professional Sports (EPS) research group, who are amongst the UK’s leading experts in the field.

Most of the first-team regular players took part in the tests, including captain Ashley Williams, goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, defenders Angel Rangel, Neil Taylor, Kyle Naughton, Federico Fernandez and Kyle Bartley, and midfielders Gylfi Sigurdsson, Ki Sung Yeung, Leon Britton, Jack Cork and Jonjo Shelvey.   

New players - just signed for this season – who took part included French defender Franck Tabanou, Swedish goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt, and Portuguese forward Eder.

The players had to undergo a whole battery of strength, power, speed and agility tests, using some of the latest research and technology available, which the EPS group has at its disposal.   

200 x 139Garry Monk, Swansea City FC manager, said:
“In the Premier League, where standards are so high, peak performance from our players is essential.  So our link with Swansea University’s elite and professional sport research group is very important.  

The facilities they can offer, and their expertise in working with elite athletes, helps us to bring out the very best in our players."

600 x 502‌Picture:  new Swans player Franck Tabanou (l), and captain Ashley Williams (r) at Swansea University after the fitness tests, which were supervised by a University sports science team including (back row) Rachel Deere and Craig Lewis.  More pictures.

The tests were the latest example of a wider collaboration which has flourished between the University EPS group and the Swans’ own performance team, which includes a number of Swansea University graduates.  

See a Guardian feature on Swansea City’s sports science and fitness team

Jonathan Northeast, Head of Sports Science and Fitness for Swansea City FC, added:

"Over the past few years we have built up a very good working relationship with Professor Liam Kilduff and the Sports Science department at the University.  We strive to provide an applied research-based practice to ensure no stone is left unturned when it comes to working with our elite athletes.  

Working with the experts at Swansea University has helped to boost the work of our in-house performance team, which includes current students and graduates in Sports Science from Swansea."

600 x 350Picture:  Swans goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski prepares for his sprint test, with defender Federico Fernandez ‌next in line, watched by Swansea City head of fitness Jonathan Northeast (left). More pictures.

Professor Liam Kilduff, from the sports science department at Swansea University, underlined how the collaboration with the Swansea City team brought benefits all round:

"Here at the University our team’s mission is to produce world-leading applied research that aims to have a significant impact on elite and professional athletes.

Jonny and his sports science team provide a world-class sports science service using current best practice to the players at Swansea City and therefore it’s a perfect collaboration.

In addition the sports science team at Swansea City help us develop the key research questions to ensure our research is always at the cutting edge."

600 x 401Picture:  Sports science teamwork: L- r:  Will Sparkes, BSc & MSc Swansea University, now Sports Scientist with Swansea City; Jonny Northeast, Head of Sports Science, Swansea City, and MSc by research student in sports science at Swansea; Jordan Smith (3rd year student, currently on a placement with the Swans); Aden King (completed BSc and is currently completing his MSc in sports science); Rachel Deere and Craig Lewis, current students in sports science at Swansea.  More pictures.

Sports Science at Swansea

Swansea University is one of the UK’s leading centres for sports science.  Courses look at how scientific principles and techniques can improve human function or performance.

As well as their collaboration with the Swans, other organisations they have worked with to support elite athletes include: Welsh Rugby Union seniors and Sevens, Scarlets Rugby Union Regional squad, British Cycling, England Rugby Seniors and Sevens, British Bobsleigh, British Skeleton Bobsleigh, and MacLaren F1.  The team are also working with Sport Wales on a new Welsh Institute of Performance Science.

As part of the Swansea University’s College of Engineering, the sports science team are well-placed to research developments in remote physiological sensing, clothing and equipment as well as medical physics and performance analysis.

Exercise and health is another focus.  For example, through the ENRICH programme, researchers are helping local children to eat a healthy diet and lead an active life, teaching them how to manage a healthy body weight as they grow up

Find out more about Sports Science at Swansea

Other links between Swansea University and Swansea City FC:

Developing joint training facilities