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West Ham United benefit from Swansea University expertise

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 04, 2013

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THE Swans aren't the only Premier League presence in Swansea.

West Ham United have been tapping into the expertise of Swansea University academics and postgraduate students to help professional footballers' post-match recovery.

It follows earlier research which showed that players can take up to four days to fully recover following a competitive game, despite players sometimes being required to play five games in a two-week window.

The university-led project integrates a new recovery method into players' recovery management practices post-game.

Dr Liam Kilduff, of the university's Research Centre in Applied Sports, Technology, Exercise and Medicine (A- STEM), said: "Studies have highlighted that high-intensity running, sprinting and change of direction are the main components of the game that impact on the physiological recovery of players.

"The study we have completed with West Ham used well established markers of recovery to examine how a new recovery strategy — based on increased muscle blood flow — may aid players' recovery. Preliminary findings in rugby players have shown this technique to have a potential role in the recovery process, especially when coupled with the travel demands placed on professional athletes.

"We already have a strong relationship with West Ham, with three of our sports science graduates now working at the club. Hopefully this relationship will continue to develop in the future to benefit the players, the club, and Swansea sports science research."

Also working on the project is Matt Evans, assistant sports scientist at West Ham, a univ- ersity sports science graduate.

Eamon Swift, head of sports science, said: "Player recovery is a key area in professional football and one we have been looking at for a number of years.

"When MSc student Tom Taylor joined us as an intern and the opportunity arose to work with Dr Liam Kilduff on a project of this nature, we were obviously very keen to be involved.

"Swansea University's reputation in elite sport research is second to none — the research Dr Kilduff and his colleagues at A-STEM conduct has real impact in our environment."

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