Students put Cobblers’ starlets through their pre-season paces

Date 6.07.2021

Budding sports scientists have linked up with the next generation of professional footballers in a partnership between Northampton Town Football Club and the University of Northampton.

The Cobblers’ U18 academy players were put through their paces by students during a gruelling day of pre-season fitness testing, at Waterside Campus.

The sessions, which included strength, speed and agility assessments, were led by undergraduates on the Sport & Exercise Science and Sport Rehabilitation & Conditioning courses.

The data was shared with the football club, to allow academy staff to focus on the areas individual players need to work on in the run-up to the new season.

Peri Tichborne led the functional movement screening assessments, and the Sport Rehabilitation & Conditioning student was thrilled to be able to put her course theory into practice, with players who are a step away from first-team football.

An overwhelming experience

She said: “Working with a professional football club’s academy was an overwhelming experience. Having the opportunity to utilise the skill set that I have gained during my first year on the course was a fantastic experience.”

Peri added: “Working so closely with the players made it obvious they are part of an amazing team.

“They all supported each other throughout the assessments, the players fully engaged and completed tasks that were set out, they followed instructions that were given and really pushed themselves to achieve their best.”

Cobblers’ lead academy sports scientist, Jack Harris, was impressed with how well the session went.

He said: “Typically, fitness testing is a long-complicated process which throws one or two curveballs along the way, but this year, with the help and support we received from the students and staff from the University, there were no issues and it really was a smooth process.

“Both myself and all staff from NTFC were extremely impressed with the way the students conducted themselves throughout the day. The students showed great professionalism and practical skills with all fitness tests that were completed. There were no problems at all, and it allowed our players to get the most out of the day and set us up nicely for the rest of pre-season.

“We are extremely grateful to the University for allowing us to use its facilities, as well as the students and staff that helped us gain valuable fitness data to give us the best possible start to the season.”

Applied Sport Scientist at the University, Luke Callis, said: “The University has been working hard to forge links with local sporting institutions. The opportunity for our students to gain hands on experience with professional clubs is invaluable and increases their employability in the industry.”