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FMPA Virtual Conference Programme 2021

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The Multi-disciplinary Team:

Fighting for order amongst the chaos

The 2021 FMPA conference will take a critical look at the MDT;  the Past, Present and Future.  The last 10 years have seen a proliferation of the field of Sports Science and Medicine; for the better?  As each individual discipline strives for recognition amongst a landscape of opinions, how do we create clarity amongst the inevitable chaos? How is it best achieved?  The term interdisciplinary team is frequently used but how does this truly look? More importantly, how does this truly work?  Calling on experts across world leading institutions, a wide-ranging assembly of MDT speakers will discuss best practice, challenges faced and what the future holds for want-to-be world leading performance and medicine departments.

Knowledge is power and strength comes from working together

Education Co-ordinator

Dr Russ Wrigley

Head of Academy Medical/Sports Science

Blackburn Rovers FC


Welcome & Opening Address

Eamonn Salmon



Chair:  Chris Barnes – Sports Scientist, UEFA

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Education session sponsor

The Vincera Institute and Vincera Foundation

The Vincera Institute and Vincera Foundation are dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, research and education of core injuries.

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The 21st Century Club: Challenges for the High-Performance MDT

Like all organisations, football clubs and their MDT have undergone significant transformation in the 21st century driven by increasing financial investment and advances in science and technology. Increasing size and expertise, emerging technology, growing importance of data and the proliferation of information in science and medicine continue to enhance the effectiveness of the MDT. These developments, however, present challenges which can reduce the effectiveness of the MTD if they are not appropriately addressed.  Warren will present an overview of the key issues associated with these sources of disruption together with solutions which aim to enhance the ability of the MDT to derive insights which enhance performance.


Professor Warren Gregson

Head of Performance Science & R&D, Aspire Academy/Qatar FC

Professor of Exercise Physiology, Football Exchanger, Liverpool John Moores University


Learning from coaches and coach education: How can physical coaches and practitioners more effectively integrate into a contemporary football MDT?

Reflecting on his work with the education of English professional game coaches working at youth and senior level Matt will discuss how the coach education curriculum is helping coaches to better understand aspects of physical performance in relation to the development and performance of football players. He will also share insights into how other members of the MDT can benefit on the wider knowledge coaches are gaining to help them become a more effective team when working to support their football programme.


Dr Matthew Portas

Talent ID & Development Education Lead

FA Education

Pure Ionic

Education session sponsor

Pure Ionic Water

Pure Ionic Water systems remove the harmful levels of pollutants, heavy metals, chemicals, hormones and oestrogens and then add all the essential elements.

Pure Ionic


Pulling (hamstrings) together!!

As the sporting world has tried to adapt to the pandemic-induced  challenges of maintain athletic performance and preventing injury in the face of restricted practice, there is constant doom-mongering predicting a tsunami of soft tissue injuries as various levels of competitive sports resume. As one of the most widely-researched and troublesome issues to deal with (even in non-plague times!!), hamstring strain remains a topic worth revisiting. James will present an overview of the literature past & present as well as introducing his methodology for monitoring, maintaining, improving and evolving hamstring (p)rehabilitation as well as discussing how the MDT has a role to play in pulling together to best service the needs of our athletes.


James Allen

Former Senior Team Physiotherapist



Coffee break, trade exhibition & networking


We kindly ask all our delegates to support our sponsors.

Chair:  Dr Imtiaz Ahmad, Head of Medical, Queens Park Rangers FC

Lightforce New

Education session sponsor

Lightforce Laser Therapy

LightForce is also the only laser therapy manufacturer to offer an extensive website dedicated to educating clinicians and patients on the therapeutic benefits of photobiomodulation.

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Sport Nutrition in an interdisciplinary sport science support program: A focus upon injury

Despite sport nutrition being a fundamental component of athletic performance, the discipline of sport nutrition is relatively new and therefore the role of the sport nutritionist is often not fully integrated within elite football clubs. Indeed, it is not uncommon to see the role being performed by other members of the performance team such as strength and conditioning staff, or the sport nutritionist being employed on a casual part time basis. Like all sport science disciplines, sport nutrition works best when it is part of an interdisciplinary sport science support programme with close collaboration between the medical, performance and coaching staff as well as the players themselves. This presentation will look at one example of where sports nutrition is crucial, that of the injured player, and investigate how a truly interdisciplinary approach will result in the maximum benefit to the player.


Professor Graeme L. Close

Professor of Human Physiology, LJMU

Head of Performance Nutrition, England Rugby

Head of Performance Nutrition, The European Tour Golf and European Ryder Cup Team

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Education session sponsor


Actimove provides a broad range of expertly engineered products for each body part. We can feel sure that Actimove’s excellent biomechanical functionality can help to treat acute injuries and chronic diseases, provide post-op care, as well support the prevention of injury recurrence.

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Multi-disciplinary team approach in a professional football club: FCBarcelona experience

How do FC Barcelona work together as a club in different departments such as medical, performance, sports analytics and methodology?  How do doctors, physiotherapists, physical coaches, coaches, etc… strive to work together to make decisions on a daily basis with the same objective in mind?  As always even with the best methodology and even the best philosophy, the people are the key.

In a huge club with so many people involved, and under constant pressure, this system is pushed to the limit, which can put these people at risk of physical and mental illness. If people work in isolation and not cohesively within the team support system, the relationship with others weakens and the system can fail, with potential impact on players, coaches and staff.  Dr Rodas Font will describe his experience of almost 20 years in one of the worlds greatest clubs.


Dr Gil Rodas

Head of Medical Area

FC Barcelona


Basketball in a Bubble

To help ensure the completion of the NBA season impacted by the pandemic last year, the league took a drastic approach in establishing a bubble during the playoffs. This required 22 teams to enter a never before seen bubble environment that in the end lasted over three months. Health and safety protocols were being developed on the fly while teams were isolated away from family and friends and undergoing daily testing. 

Dr Judy Seto reviews the unprecedented challenges encountered last season during the Los Angeles Lakers’ run for their 17th championship. She will discuss how challenges throughout the season helped solidify the team’s resolve and ability to perform under pressure. She will also present how the organisation’s focus on a player centric model and a continuum of care by the multidisciplinary helped foster an environment of adaptability and sacrifice that led to an eventual championship. 


Dr Judy Seto

Director of Sports Performance

Los Angeles Lakers


Lunch break, networking and trade exhibition


We kindly ask all our delegates to support our sponsors.

Chair:  Dr Fadi Hassan, NHS & Birmingham City FC

SwimEx Webbox

Education session sponsor


SwimEx Sports Fitness, Hydrotherapy Pools and Plunge Pools have delivered Sports Wellbeing since 1986. SwimEx’s unique paddlewheel delivers fantastic laminar flow water resistance for sports peak performance training and rehabilitation.

SwimEx Webbox


The Next 10 years: A magic roundabout or the holy grail?

As football performance practitioners what have we learned over the years, how do we see the next ten years evolving?

More research?  More data?  More stats?  More confusion?  More chaos?  Perhaps yes and why not?

May be the  marrying up of physical performance and psychological performance leading to a complete player performance model?  Or will we see that we may already have many answers within our grasp and re-focus, re-set and look perhaps closer to home in how we all work and function within a football business environment.  And yes, potentially another ten years of fighting for order amongst the new chaos?


Mark Leather

Senior Lecturer in Sports Medicine & Therapy

University of Central Lancashire


Development and Performance is Everybody’s Business: A Performance Psychology Perspective

Traditionally, the perception of performance psychology support has involved working one-to-one directly with players. However, psychology support within football has increasingly shifted toward a more systemic approach, including working with and through the Multi-disciplinary team. This presentation will discuss perspectives on how this level of support may prove more impactful than working primarily with players, and discuss some practical examples of effectively positioning psychology support in such a way.


Darren Devaney


Arsenal FC


Artificial Intelligence – a valuable current & future multi-disciplinary team member?

The presentation will touch on the data landscape in football for injury risk management. We will explore the current challenges faced by MDT’s to leverage big workload datasets for injury mitigation and highlight how artificial intelligence is already being successfully deployed in the football industry to reduce injury rates.


Rich Buchanan

Performance Director



Coffee break, networking and trade exhibition


We kindly ask all our delegates to support our sponsors .

Chair:  Eamonn Salmon, CEO – FMPA

Game Ready webbox

Education session sponsor

Game Ready

The Game Ready System combines Intermittent Compression with Circumferential Cold Therapy in one fully adjustable, easy-to-use application.

Game Ready webbox


Fitness & Football: How can members of the MDT work collaboratively to aid session design & completeness

Team – group of individuals working together towards a common goal.  A challenge to staff MDT is ensuring our support is directed correctly to a team full of players with individual needs.

This talk will explore the role of Fitness staff and how they can work together with Football coaches for the good of the player and overall holistic performance. Case examples will be outlined from both 1st Team and Academy football. Our time with these players is precious, how can we make the environment as challenging, enjoyable, and integrated as possible to aid player/ team development.


Frankie Hunter

Head of Fitness

Middlesbrough FC


The MDT: perspectives of a S&C coach leading a sports science and medical department

The inherent nature of the performance and medicine department is multifaceted with a breadth of disciplines aiding performance. Spanning from detailed physiology, to biomechanics, psychology (performance and mental health), nutrition requires a team of specialists to all cohesively feed into a dynamic environment with their own perspectives of the situation/environment. Therefore, as a lead of such MDT, what are the “right” questions in subject fields that we are not an expert in? How do we successfully position each practitioner within department, academy, first team and The Club to develop an aligned and uniform process?


Luke Jenkinson

Head of Sports Science & Academy Medicine

Derby County FC

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Education session sponsor

K Laser UK

K-Laser delivers energy from superficial to deep tissues activating a cascade of photochemical reactions that promotes cell function, enabling treated tissues to accelerate the stages of the healing process and reduce pain sensation.

k laser smaller logo


Performance Support in Major League Soccer

Major League Soccer is a league with many unique characteristics that set it apart from any other sports competition in the world.  Phil will discuss his intriguing path from Oldham Rugby League Club to Los Angeles Galaxy and explains the challenges facing performance teams in the US.  He will explain how extensive travel impacts on team performance and how the rules surrounding the salary cap dictate that key players really must be available for selection in order to maximise a teams chance of success.


Phil Hayward

Director of Performance and Sport Science

LA Galaxy


Integrating performance analysis within the MDT

Performance analysis is traditionally seen as being a discipline to support the coaching staff and players. As the area has evolved and the technology utilised has continued to develop it has allowed analysis to be integrated to a far greater extent across the MDT. This presentation will look to discuss how analysis has changed and offer some practical examples of how it be used to support not just the coaches but also the sports science and medical teams.


Mathew Pearson

Head of Performance & Research

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

HPE webbox

Education session sponsor

Health Partners Europe

Unrivaled knowledge and a wealth of tested experience allow Health Partners Europe to provide tailored solutions to client requirements. Whilst flexible and cost-effective, our suite of professional services grants clients the opportunity to take advantage of our national medical network, first class proprietary claims management team and industry leading financial reporting structure. Ours is a truly independent, transparent and discrete personalised service. Unique in our capacity to manage benefits, treatment and claims our service has been honed over 25 years of meeting the needs of a demanding, discerning and knowledgeable client base.

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This programme is subject to change at the discretion of the FMPA.