‘Sports Science will not change Vandrezzer FC overnight’ – Chris Barnes

Chris Barnes has warned that Sports Science is a process and will not change Vandrezzer FC overnight.

Vandrezzer FC last month announced the arrival of Barnes, who formerly worked with Arsenal, Manchester City, Middlesbrough and other top clubs in England.

Barnes is a renowned sports scientist who specialises in players performance enhancement and is tasked with systemically developing homegrown players at the club.

In an interview with George Essien, Vandrezzer FC head of media department, Barnes says the challenge and determination to work in a different environment, which is compared to his first role 25 years ago at Middlesbrough made him accepted to come to Nigeria.

“I’ve worked as a sports scientist in football for a lot of years and I have done a lot of jobs, a lot of clubs and other parts of the world and first of all, this just sounded like a completely new challenge.

“Actually, the challenge is very similar to the one I took on 25 years ago at Middlesbrough Football Club in England, when the Chairman approached me and he said “we want to do something different, we want to introduce sports science to football in England.”

“That was what we did 25 years ago and this is exactly the same challenge but in a different country, different culture, different players, different coach and it’s too exciting an opportunity to by-pass.”

Chris Barnes has warned that sports science is not an overnight pill and will not change Vandrezzer FC overnight
Chris Barnes has warned that sports science is not an overnight pill and will not change Vandrezzer FC overnight

Chris Barnes started what was the first multidisciplinary sports science department for an English Premier League club at Middlesbrough FC in 1997, helping the club gained promotion to the Premier League and reached the League Cup final despite losing stars such as Juninho and Fabrizio Ravanelli at the start of the campaign.

He explained what sports science is all about and says his job at Vandrezzer FC is to observe and give coach Rafael Everton useful information which will help him make decisive decisions about the squad.

“The first thing I am coming to do is to observe and understand the setup at Vandrezzer and understand where the strengths are, how the coach likes to work and how the coach wants to see the team play because the value of science comes to compliment the arts of coaching, so you compliment the art with science.

“Sports science can help provide the coach with information he wouldn’t have had before. So, you think about the art of coaching, it’s about making decisions at the end of the day, he makes a lot of decisions every day, and he makes those decisions based on the information that he has.

“At the moment, that information is coming from his eyes and ears, what we can start to do is to collect objective information on the training field and in matches, we are going to test and monitor the players, so we can hopefully help the coach get them in the best possible physical condition.

“We can measure this, and that’s really what science does, it measures things where previously we rely on our expertise and our experience.

“So, hopefully, what I am here to do is to be complimentary to the coach.”

He also warned that sports science is not an “overnight pill” and will not yield immediate result and change Vandrezzer FC.

“What it is not going to do is change anything overnight,” Barne said. “I am not here to change, I am here to add, Vandrezzer FC is what it is and what the club is is important because it defines the culture and the people and the way the club is.

“If I can add a layer on to Vandrezzer FC, which just create extra little one percent here and there, if that is in terms of the physical fitness of the players, how quickly they recover from injuries or how quickly they recover from matches, then, those are the small wins that will actually help us slowly progress.

“Sports science isn’t an overnight pill, its something that we will hopefully slowly build and will take people on the journey, the players most importantly and the coach.

“So it is not a threat, its something that is here to actually help people to maximise their potentials, but that will take a little time, so we will drip feet and introduce it piece by piece. If it’s eventually works, then Vandrezzer FC will be an African powerhouse.”


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