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Dunny Delivers

With Cheryl Cole recently being axed from X-Factor in America with people struggling to understand her accent I took it upon myself to try and interview our very own Geordie, Sports Therapist Tony Dunn to gauge his thoughts on the past season and what lays ahead.

As sports therapist for club and first team in particular, how has this past season gone on the injury front?

"We had a good season in terms of the relatively low number of injuries we suffered and the generally short lengths of time players were unable to play due to injury. However, there is always room for improvement and I have identified some lessons from last season on how we can better prepare the players for the rigours of a Southern League Premier Division season. Pre-hab is the preparation (excercises) that can be done to avoid injury and it is essential to have a thorough, well structured pre-season schedule.

Last season our first squad friendly was on 6th July and we played 9 squad friendlies in total. The league season commenced on 14th August and we played 54 league and cup matches over the course of the season. Between 14th August and 14th September we played 9 competitive matches, including 2 FA Cup ties.

Players need a good rest between seasons, so we could not have started earlier, but by anyone's standards, the start to the season was a heavy one. Chris Thompson and Ben Gascoyne suffered tendonitis injuries early in the campaign; I would like us to be able to do as much as possible to avoid this type of injury in the future. The only injury that lingered longer than I anticipated was that of Rob Hoskin's hamstring injury, but once I identified that it stemmed from a back problem, I referred him to a chiropractor and he soon returned to fitness."


How did you feel the team did over the course of the season?

"I thought we did very well over the season as a whole. Yes there were ups and downs, but in our first season back in the premier division, with a relatively young and inexperienced squad (at that level), for Cirencester Town to finish almost mid-table was a good result. The determination shown by everyone, particularly over the latter part of the season, was outstanding. This was reflected in the good performances and points gained over the last two months."


What has been your highlight of the season?

"Playing well and achieving justified good results against teams with vastly superior resources (budgets) than our own. The win away at Cambridge City towards the end of the season being the pick of the bunch! Performances and results like that make all the hard work worth-while. Additionally, I have enjoyed the progress and success of the Development Team. The fact that so many of the Development Team players have been able to supplement and play for the 1st team squad is fantastic."


What has been the low point of the season?

"January; it was a disappointing month results wise and personally I found travelling my 155 mile, twice mid-week, commute particularly tough during the bad weather. Credit to everyone though; we dug in to the trenches, put on our tin hats, took out our false teeth, went over the top and came through it to finish strong."


What has been the funniest moment of the season?

"Away at Salisbury! From being 1-0 up on 33 minutes, we had gone in at half time 1-2 down. We competed averagely in the second half and we were defeated 1-4. The players and staff were gutted and there was a hush in the dressing room after the game as we all reflected quietly on the performance. Hughsie had collected his thoughts and decided to keep them to himself until he'd had time to reflect over the weekend and talk (about what went wrong) in a controlled manner at training on Tuesday. He'd began to get changed when one of the loan players came out with a stupid remark; well, best laid plans and all that - dressed only in a T-Shirt, under-pants and socks, Hughsie let out his feelings there and then with a full post-mortem of the match. 10 minutes passed and he was still going strong and so were the under-pants. Eventually, he calmed down and we were able to move on and enjoy a pint of Guinness in the bar, with hughsie able to see the funny side. A valuable lesson learned for the loan player, who was soon dispatched back to Cheltenham!"


What plans do you have from a fitness point of view for the team in pre-season?

"I've mentioned the importance of a good pre-season and we have already begun planning., with some suggestions based on last seasons lessons learn't. The aim of pre-season will be to have the squad fully match fit for the first league game of the season. It will be a gradual and well structured process. However, for the 2 weeks before pre-season I will be deployed to a very hot and dusty desert, so I will be battle hardened and raring to go on my return!"


What are your thoughts on next season?

"Learn from the past and make improvements for the future! Some players leaving or retiring will be difficult to replace, but with additions of the required quality, and the experience of last season, we will be more competitive. I'll keep my ambitions for the league to myself, but i'd love us to have a good run in the FA Cup."

(Dunny can be seen working out how far the players will have to run to reach this beach in pre-season!)


As Dunny mentioned, pre-season planning has already started to take place. Click on the PDF icon below to download a document outlining some fitness work all players can use individually to ease themselves back in before pre-season training starts on Tuesday 28th June.

NB: This document requires the Adobe Reader software to be installed on your PC which can be obtained FOC from Adobe's website:


This entry was posted on 02 June 2011 at 00:00. You can leave a response here.

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