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The Emirates Western Force has continued its recruitment of world-class team management by signing the Chinese Olympic Committee’s Chief Physiotherapist and Performance Specialist David Joyce to assist in changing the team’s fortunes with regard to injuries.
The Western Australian side endured a horror run with injuries in 2012 with more than a third of its squad (12 players) unavailable for six matches or more through injury during the season.
With the extended Super Rugby season, Emirates Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says Joyce will play an integral role in balancing the demands placed on players.
“David’s appointment is a critical one for us as we relaunch a top quality rugby program,” Head Coach Michael Foley said. “He’s not only had top-level experience and bona fide results in managing and reducing the number of injuries, but he’s got both a medical and strength-and-conditioning background which helps him greater understand players’ training capacities, injuries and their rehabilitation and prevention.
“Off the back of last season, we still have up to 30 per cent of the squad returning from injury and post-season surgery during the pre-season. We’re looking to have all those guys fully fit and training by January next year and David’s expertise and guidance will be vital in ensuring these players available for the start of the new Super Rugby season.
“He’ll be very important in linking our medical staff and Charlie Higgins and Brendyn Appleby in our Strength and Conditioning Department to assist in monitoring loads and red flag any potential candidates for injuries, as well as assisting those on their way back from injury with a fast yet thorough recovery.”
Joyce joins the Emirates Western Force having previously worked with soccer powerhouses Galatasaray FC (Turkey) and Blackburn Rovers FC (England), and English Super League club, Hull FC. Most recently he worked as Lead Physiotherapist for Team China at the London Olympics, where he helped reduce the number of athletes’ training days lost to injury – acknowledged as a key factor in the country’s 2012 Olympic success.
In 2010, Joyce designed and implemented an athletic development and injury rehabilitation program for Socceroos star Harry Kewell that allowed him to double the amount of games he’d previously played each year since 2002, including completing all matches at an international tournament for the first time in his career.
Foleys says ensuring players are available is the most basic step in building towards success.
“The simple equation is we need to prevent injuries to keep our best side on the field,” he said. “It’s always a delicate balance between pushing players physically while ensuring they don’t break – which is something that David is has a great deal of top-level experience in.
“In a contact sport collision injuries are inevitable, however, we need to ensure we’re limiting the impact injuries have on the squad. This includes early identification of potentially preventable and soft tissue injuries and ensuring that our injury management is precise and effective so that if players are sidelined it’s for the minimum possible time.
“There is often a direct correlation between the success of a side and the number of injuries incurred. If we’re serious about relaunching this side, one of the most fundamental steps is limiting the number of injuries and putting the systems into place to ensure our players are injury-free and continually available.”
Name: David Joyce
Role: Head of Athletic Performance
Previous Coaching Roles: 2011-2012 Chief Physiotherapist – Chinese Olympic Committee, 2011 Consultant Head of Performance – Hull FC (Super League), 2010-2011 High Performance & Rehabilitation Specialist – Galatasaray FC, 2008-2010 Sports Physiotherapist & Rehabilitation Coordinator – Blackburn Rovers FC, 2008 Physiotherapist – Team GB Olympic Team, 2003-2006 Physiotherapist – Saracens