United are pleased to announce the addition of three new members of staff, who join the first team backroom team.Chris Burton, Adam Hearn and Joe Sharp complete the new look personnel, along with brand new facilities which includes a complete refurbishment of the club’s gym.
Manager Mark Robins explained: “When I first came in as manager, we looked at the staffing levels, and at how we wanted to move the club forward, and that department was one that needed some attention.
“I was strategic with what we wanted to do, as mid-season is quite a difficult time to try and recruit.
"I found out that Chris Burton, who I worked with before at Barnsley, had decided to leave Peterborough United and was going to go and set up his on his own.
"However, I heard about his availability and I managed to convince him to join us. He was a key component in what we wanted to do because he’s a
physio, but he’s also a rehabilitation coordinator.
“Chris will head up the department as the head of the sports science and physiotherapy department, while we are also pleased to bring in Joe Sharp, formerly of Leyton Orient, as physiotherapist.
“Adam Hearn has also joined us as strengthening and conditioning coach, having previously worked for West Bromwich Albion amongst others.
“He will oversee strength and conditioning programmes for the players, which in turn will give them better opportunities to stay fit and remain on the pitch, which is very, very important.”
Burton brings with him a wealth of experience from spells with clubs such as the aforementioned Posh, Hull City, QPR and Barnsley, the latter of which saw him work alongside Robins and first team coach Nick Daws.
“We’re here to try and maximise performance while minimising injury,” Burton explained.
“I did a sports science degree initially and then a physiotherapy degree before starting in the NHS working through the banding system. I then went on to work for England Athletics before turning to football, beginning at the Nottingham Forest Academy.
“I made the decision to leave Peterborough United earlier in the month and when the manager found out that I was available, he gave me a call and that’s why I’m here.
“My role is to oversee everything within the department; from what happens from an injury management point of view and from a prehab point of view. The main thing is to try and prevent injuries, but unfortunately in football injuries do often occur. When they do occur, our job is to try and get them back as quickly as we can, when safe to do so.
“That’s why Adam Hearn has been brought in to lead that area and profile the players and hopefully reduce the amount of injuries that occur, and keep the squad as fit as possible so the manager has a full team to select from.”
Hearn comes to Glanford Park as the first team strength and conditioning coach, taking up his first senior role in league football after a number of intern roles within clubs with a big reputation.
“At the minute, we are building our foundations,” said Hearn.
“I work under Chris and what I’ve been tasked to do is profile the players and lead what happens in the gym. We’ve just had a brand new gym put in and the profile consists of a number of physical tests which try and find the players’ strengths and weaknesses and work on the latter.
“I’ve previously worked with Chris at Peterborough United, and all of my previous roles have been in strength and conditioning or in sports science working with the first team or academy of the respective teams.”
United can expect to see Burton enter the field of play on a matchday should an Iron player require treatment after Darren Mouatt returned to his former role as youth team physiotherapist.
Burton stated: “When the time comes that we unfortunately do get injuries, we want to make sure that right from the acute injury, to the diagnosis, the conditioning in the gym and then doing the end stage rehab, that when they return to full training, everything’s right and that the injury doesn’t break down. That’s why the physiotherapist Joe Sharp is here to have a big role in that side of things.”
Sharp arrives following a spell at Leyton Orient and is enjoying life as part of the new-look set-up at Glanford Park.
“Before football, I worked in the field privately,” explained Sharp.
“I then moved to Leyton Orient where I spent two-and-a-half seasons as head academy physio and then assistant first team physio. I’m currently studying an MSc in Sports Medicine at the minute. I’ve seen Chris in the past at games, but I’ve never worked with anyone here before, but so far things have been good.”
Adam then added: “That’s our main philosophy really; to reduce the number of injuries as much as we can – specifically non-contact injuries and then improve performance by drip feeding a little bit at a time. The club has invested in the gym and also in us two new members of staff.
“The players seem to be enjoying it at the moment. They get more attention and one-to-one time as we have a greater player to staff ratio.”
United would also like to welcome on board Kev Hornsby, who joins the club as the first team massage therapist. Kev has previously worked under Mark Robins at Barnsley and teams up again with Chris Burton following a spell with him at Oakwell.
“Kev has joined our team, while Jen Fielding – who has worked for the club for a number of years – will also continue within her role at the football club,” stated Chris.
Chris Burton - Head of Medical and Sports Science
Previous Clubs: Nottingham Forest (Academy Physiotherapist), Barnsley (First Team Physiotherapist), Hull City (Head of Medicine), QPR (First Team Physiotherapist), Peterborough United (First Team Physiotherapist / Head of Sports Science and Medicine).
Qualifications: Sports Science Degree, Physiotherapist Degree.
Background as a footballer: Played football at non-league level. Got released by Mansfield Town and played non-league for Gainsborough Trinity, Brigg Town, Retford United.
Adam Hearn - Strength and Conditioning Coach
Previous Clubs: Leicester City, Peterborough United, West Bromwich Albion
Qualifications: Sports Science, Masters in Strength and Conditioning.
Background as a footballer: Still plays football. Has always played to amateur level.
Joe Sharp - Physiotherapist
Previous Club: Leyton Orient (Head Academy Physiotherapist, Assistant First Team Physiotherapist)
Qualifications: Master of Science in Sports Medicine (currently studying)
Background as a footballer: Played in the academy at Nottingham Forest.