Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Jason Akermanis:Smell the fear

Now in Australia we football fans used to open our newspapers, before t'internet, and have to read drivel like that written by Jason Akermanis about football.

But with t'internet we can give it back.

Jason Akermanis is an AFL player. He will play around 21 games a season. But when it comes to writing, and football knowledge he's a dead-set goose, and here's why.....

Jason has used his column in the Courier Mail to write this..

So advanced is the process by which we (AFL) train, play and recover that I chuckle every time an AFL person heads over to the English Premier League to get an idea about bettering our athletes' performances.

It turns out that the English are a little backward compared with us. The guys over there should be visiting us, as should most of the other big footballing codes around the world.

One of my colleagues observed that within 15 minutes after an EPL game, the guys had left to go do something else.

Great research Jason. One of your colleagues observed who, when, where and why? And based on that you know the AFL are much more advanced than the English game.

Well AFL is well advanced, that seems to be clear...from my research. But you too could do a little research, mate!
On game day at a well known English club last season the after match routine was, (minus the Akermanis timings of course):

Player warm down on the pitch. (3 Jason mins)
Including those who didn't play.
Hydration levels monitored in the dressing room after the game.(2 Jason mins)
Ice Baths for all players. (5 Jason mins)
Physio and injuries attended to. (2 Jason minutes)

Which still leads 3 Jason minutes to get changed and away from the ground, just like in AFL Jason.

The Australian professional physio I spoke to said it was the same as an AFL players post-match routine.

Game day rehab etc is the same, in both countries according to my sources.

Where AFL lead the way, over Rugby and League in Australia, and most EPL clubs, is in it's full-time resourcing of Dieticians, Physios (Numbers of), Biomechanics etc.

However it's not all doom and gloom in England the dossiers given to Coaches and Physios on bio-tracking of players is as good as any seen in Australia according to people who have worked inside English and Australian sporting environments.

AFL is well-funded compared to other Aussie sports. AFL is perhaps helped by it salary cap and the insularity of the code.

An AFL player can hardly run off overseas for more money or better treatment when he's injured in AFL, or asked to undertake rehab he doesn't like can he? And in the EPL clearly players have way too much money and power.

EPL clubs despite huge turnovers have to spend so much on market driven wages they clearly have neglected their Sports Science departments. But they are improving I'm told.

The UK requires cultural change. But it's not all as bad as Jason would have you think.

Can you imagine Jose Mourinho not attending to every detail? Or Arsene Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson.

Suffering from the same dire headlines as AFL has over the years, with it's superfit and drug and alcohol laden stars, Fergie cancelled Christmas parties at Man Utd for fears of excessive drinking a la AFL, League and Union fellas in the advanced Australian codes.

Ask yourself a couple of questions Jason.

How did Ryan Giggs manage to play 758 games? How many have you played?
Obviously the after match dash is what has kept Giggsy ahead of the pack. Maybe it would extend your career.

And Harry Kewell and Paul Okon. Talk to them about the preparation they had/have to put into play just one, yes just one game. Okon at 25 was told by many specialists his career was over. Due to rigourous preparation seven days a week to play just one game of football, Okon extended his career, in England, until he finally stopped at 35!

Says Jason

But don't be telling me that in one of the best-paid leagues on the planet, leaving within 15 minutes is maximising recovery, especially when they play 40-plus games a year.

And Jason how many players leave within 15 minutes, and make that 60 games not 40 plus.

Jason wrote more rubbish
I wonder how long it will be before Manchester United comes knocking on one of our clubs' doors to get an insight into bettering athletes' performances

Celtic Manager Gordon Strachan came over four years ago. I'm sure many more have been.

AFL is a recognised leader in Sports Science. No question. But when you have had a look inside an English football club, or talked to some of the Aussies working and playing in England we'll respect your writing a little more.

Until then, keep up the drivel!

Jason I'm starting to smell the fear!

No comments: