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FMPA Conference News

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Dr Matt Portas, Physical Performance Education Lead, The FA

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.

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Frankie Hunter


FRANKIE HUNTER, Head of Fitness, Middlesbrough FC

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 players with individual needs.  As players become more aware of support available to them & can work with multiple staff members over the course of a day/ period of time, ensuring commonalities with language, goals, function & demand are pertinent to success.   Simple? What happens if the common goals aren’t shared between the collective group of individuals?   This applies for both the football team and the staff team (MDT) we’re egos and individuals craving task independence can create conflict. 

This talk will explore the above and will provide a reflective case report showing the working relationship between members of a MDT at 1st Team level and Academy level in Football. 

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Luke Jenkinson


LUKE JENKINSON, Head of Sports Science & Academy Medicine, Derby County FC

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?

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Dr Gil Rodas Font, Head of Medical Area FC Barcelona

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.

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K Laser 

Welcome to K Laser who will be exhibiting at the FMPA 2020 Conference in May. K-Laser is the only commercial therapy laser to have proven, published depth of penetration in short treatment protocols, with its portable size, in-built Wifi and rapid clinical results, it is an excellent addition to medical clinics whether elite sports or healthcare centres. K-Laser is a safe and non-invasive, stimulating the body’s own reparative processes. K-Laser is NICE approved and is presently used in global sporting franchises and Olympic teams, NHS hospitals and private medical clinics for accelerated rehabilitation and pain management…

Find out more

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Mark Leather – Senior Lecturer in Sports Medicine & Therapy, University of Central Lancashire

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?

Q & A


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Professor James Morton – Professor of Exercise Metabolism, Liverpool John Moores University 

Improvements in performance are usually a product of innovation (i.e. knowledge) and delivery (practical execution).   However, the translation of science to the elite sporting environment is not always straightforward, owing to the ever-changing dynamics of professional sport.  In this presentation, I reflect on my time in both academia and high performance sport to arrive at key performance principles that support winning consistently.   A winning culture is underpinned by leadership that promotes a team of teams, winning behaviour, continual improvement and a performance (athlete) first approach. Ultimately, it is the progressive and shared understanding of ourselves and the people that we work with that really underpins winning performances. Whilst the transition of paper-to-podium is a product of knowledge and delivery, it is suggested that it is the final step of delivery that is the difference between winning and losing.


Steve Kemp

MDT & its role in managing the International player

A case study from World Cup Final

Steve Kemp – Lead Men’s Physiotherapist, The FA

A key role of the MDT is to have a comprehensive understanding of the player specific to the physical demands of the game. Once understood the MDT can prioritise how best to facilitate player development to achieve success. It is likely that a more diverse MDT the more likely it will drive critical thinking and ensure a clinically reasoned individualised approach to players management.
When managing the international athlete, the need for a highly functioning MDT is never more apparent. There is an added complexity in international MDT collaborating with club MDT who may have conflicting goals at differing times during the season. With obvious limitations on exposure and fully understanding each player, the international MDT must strive to get a full understanding of each players chronic state (match exposure, training exposure,  ongoing issues and current physical capability) and their acute state (response to exposure and psychological Wellness) in short period of time to facilitate the correct management decisions being made.

The presentation aims to give a case study of how an international MDT interacted to manage players in dense fixture congested world Cup finals of high physical and mental stress.


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Headline sponsor

FMPA Conference & Awards 2020 sponsored by Essity

The FMPA once again welcome Essity to the FMPA Conference & Awards as headline sponsor.

“Essity is pleased to support the long-standing relationship with continued support for the FMPA Conference & Awards 2020.”

Essity (trading as BSN medical) is a leading global health and medical solutions provider, specialising in the areas of Wound Care, Physiotherapy and Fracture Management products.

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Educational Session Sponsor

Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have kindly agreed to sponsor one of the educational sessions at the FMPA Conference 2020.

The QMUL MSc Sports & Exercise programme is open to nationally and internationally qualified medical doctors, physiotherapists, osteopaths and podiatrists.  The football medicine module is taught in collaboration with Arsenal FC.  The SEM Masters programme

Taught components of the course are delivered in lecture and practical formats across two semesters (Sept-Dec and Jan-Mar), over 1 to 4 years.  Sessions are presented by national and international experts; from cutting edge basic scientists to physiotherapists (e.g. Jon Fern, head physiotherapist Chelsea FC), doctors (e.g. Dr Ritan Mehta, Women’s Lead Performance Doctor, The FA) and other health professionals working with world-class athletes.

Overall, the design of the programme provides a comprehensive foundation from which students take forward their own specific and continued professional development in SEM.

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BBC Sports Presenter at 2020 Event

Once again the fantastic BBC Presenter, Hugh Ferris, will be hosting the FMPA Awards evening.   The FMPA Awards Dinner is the highlight of the FMPA Conference weekend.  We recognise those teams and individuals who have excelled during the current season and are delighted to commend them for their contribution to professional football.

Hugh is a TV, radio and events presenter with nearly 20 years experience, spending most of his working life with BBC Sport. He appears on BBC TV, presenting the sport on the BBC News Channel, BBC Breakfast and BBC World News; and his work for radio includes the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2, the BBC World Service, and BBC Radio 5 Live, where he’s presented 5 Live Sport.

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Development and Performance is Everybody’s Business:

A Performance Psychology Perspective

Daniel Ransom – Academy Psychologist, Manchester United FC

Growing numbers of staff are being employed in increasingly diverse roles in an effort to support development and performance in professional football. Done effectively this may expose players to greater knowledge, expertise and experience, done ineffectively this may result in conflict, confusion and uncertainty among players, staff and the system as a whole. Drawing on systemic approaches to psychology and an applied case study relating to psychology and injury rehabilitation, the presentation will consider the processes and conditions that promote effective MDT/IDT practice.


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Brian Ashton MBE – Former Head Coach, England Rugby Union

My early attempts at teaching and coaching were particularly unsuccessful….. Why?  Because I taught/coached in silos , tick boxes – compartmentalised so that no performance elements were synchronised.

A meeting, which led to a life long working friendship, with Pierre Villepreux, educationalist and pioneering coach, changed this.
Subsequently, over a period of 36 years I have, through experimentation, developed an approach which attempts to integrate all performance elements when appropriate to allow the opportunity for players to operate in real game experiences.


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“The 2019 FMPA Conference was, without question, the best conference I have attended in the last 10 years: the organisers should be congratulated on developing such a wide-ranging and engaging programme. Throughout the two-day conference, knowledgeable and experienced speakers presented high quality lectures on topics of current importance: I am certain that everyone attending the Conference learnt something of value from every presentation. The dates for the 2020 FMPA Conference have already been added to my calendar – it is definitely an event I will not want to miss.”
Dr Colin Fuller BSc, PhD, FRSC

“As always, a great few days with FMPA members at their annual Conference. The event really does go from strength to strength every year! Thanks to everyone who helped to organise and shared their knowledge.”
Craig Smith, Head of Fitness & Conditioning, Peterborough United FC

“It was a pleasure to present on our academy philosophy at the recent FMPA conference. An extremely well run couple of days, with some fantastic takeaways!”
Will Abbott, Head Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach, Brighton & Hove Albion FC

“It was great to see such a variety of practitioners, old and young and from different disciplines all congregating to share knowledge and discuss improving athlete health and performance. Improving the links between medical and Strength & Conditioning staff is vital for the holistic development of the athlete and it was great to see a commitment from all to understanding the need for accredited and proven competency in delivering athletic development training to all.”
Kevin Paxton, Head of Academy Sports Science, Leicester City FC

“The FMPA continues to deliver a fantastic line-up of speakers working in vastly different roles across the football landscape. The 2019 conference was a fantastic opportunity to learn, as well as catching up with old friends, and meeting new ones.”
Callum Repper, Women’s Team Physiotherapist, Women’s Professional Development Phase, The FA

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Quote FMPA Conference for discounted prices!



The FMPA has a multitude of sponsorship opportunities including joining our trade exhibition, sponsoring the Medicine & Performance in Professional Football Awards, conference sponsorship, programme sponsorship and delegate pack inserts.

CLICK HERE for further information or contact conference@fmpa.co.uk or call 0333 4567897