Nino Severino: Getting Ipswich Town stars like Andre Dozzell back on the pitch is a real team effort

Andre Dozzell is on his way back to full fitness. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Andre Dozzell is on his way back to full fitness. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

In his latest column, Nino Severino talks about his link up with the Ipswich Town coaching and physio team - and their efforts to get Andre Dozzell back on the pitch.

Andre Dozzell works with dad Jason at Ipswich Town. Picture: PAVEL KRICKAAndre Dozzell works with dad Jason at Ipswich Town. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

I had the privilege of working with one of world’s most talented physiologists for a period of over five years, his name was Leo Faulman and he supported Sir Steve Redgrave through many of his Olympic performances and gold medal achievements.

I have talked about my life pathway in previous columns, but the pathway that led me to Leo was different to say the least.

I had a telephone call from a Spanish agent who wanted me to present at the world famous sports resort, La Manga.

I’d heard a lot of things about this mecca of sports training, and I knew many of the world’s best tennis players and premier football teams elected to use the venue for preparation, so it was an opportunity I was not going to miss.

I arranged for all my equipment to be transported over to Spain, booked my tickets and took the very exciting trip over to present.

While I was presenting on a tennis court, I noticed someone watching, but he looked slightly different in terms of the way he was concentrating on the drills I was showing and what I was saying – I didn’t think too much about it, and just carried on presenting. When I finished, the man approached me. He said: “I’m a London-based physio, and I really liked what I was hearing and seeing, it’s different”.

We had a really interesting discussion about movement, speed, power and injury prevention and rehab, his final words as he was walking away, were “keep doing what you are doing”. This one little conversation was going to completely change my life!

The next day, there was a knock on the door of the villa I was staying in, I answered it and the person introduced himself as a representative of Stephen Marks, owner of FCuk Tennis, he was sent over by Jo Durie and her coach.

Andre Dozzell works on some drills at Ipswich Town. Picture: PAVEL KRICKAAndre Dozzell works on some drills at Ipswich Town. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

For the older members of the reading audience, if you are a tennis fan, you would know who Jo is – she was one of our greatest tennis players, ranked in the top 5 in the world, representing Britain over many years in the 80’s and 90’s, making Grand Slam semi-finals and winning the massive Premier WTA tournament in Miami.

The representative asked if I would deliver a session for Jo’s players, who were based at La Manga that week for a training session. The players turned up, and with them was the physio who watched my presentation – it all linked up!

I delivered the session, two weeks later I was driving around the M25, and received a call and it was an invitation to join the FCuk Tennis Academy permanently.

I spent the next five years as a member of a massively talented London based team, including Leo and Jo, and we all worked as part of Stephen Marks’ team, the owner of French connection who was heavily investing in British tennis.

Well life has once again offered me the opportunity to be a team player, this time locally at Ipswich Town, as part of Bryan Klug’s and Lee O’Neil’s coaching team.

I have been working at the club now for over eight months, working with academy players and having the privilege of supporting Martyn Waghorn, Town’s star striker.

I now find myself also working as part of Matt Byard’s physiotherapy team as well, this is an incredible opportunity, as once again, I have the opportunity to work at the highest level, with professionals, who really know their business!

Matt is the senior physio at ITFC and has been with the club for over 20 years, offering players his skill and knowledge, through periods of injury, which can be very challenging for an athlete.

Andre Dozzell on his road back to fitness at Ipswich Town. Picture: PAVEL KRICKAAndre Dozzell on his road back to fitness at Ipswich Town. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

I had a very interesting chat with Matt, and he made a point of talking about team work, and how many members of the team are needed to achieve the ultimate result, which of course is getting the Town players back on the pitch and performing.

Andre Dozzell is one such player, who unfortunately experienced a very bad injury around 10 months ago but he has had an incredible programme of treatment and rehabilitation which now sees him well on his way to full recovery.

Getting a player back on the pitch can involve international work as well, with Alex Chapman, a member of the Town physio team, utilising specific work through first hand education from Bill Knowles in the USA.

Combine this with Andre committing to a block of work with strength and conditioning specialists in Qatar, and it makes for a complex programme and integrated strategy that ultimately gets the player over the line and back on the pitch.

I must finish this article by mentioning that I have witnessed Andre working so hard to get through what has been a very challenging time for him.

He is without doubt a young athlete with huge amounts of dedication, fuelled by a big dream to play at the highest level!

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