Developing strength and conditioning coaches for professional football

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Matt Springham with Gary Walker, Tony Strudwick and Anthony Turner

There has been rapid growth in demand for strength and conditioning (S&C) coaches in the UK since the turn of the century.4 This growth has been particularly evident in professional football following publication of the English Premier League’s (EPL) Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) in 2011.11 The aim of EPPP is to facilitate the development of more and better home-grown players by modernising player development. In short, it provides a structural and functional framework to which professional football club academies are required to adhere in order to access EPL funding and play in affiliated EPL competitions. Importantly, EPPP guidelines identified the S&C coaching role as compulsory, triggering a nationwide S&C recruitment drive in professional football club academies in England. As a result of this, it is likely that the football sector now employs more S&C coaches than any other sector of performance sport in the UK.

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