The Brisbane Roar FC fighting fit under rejuvenated medical model
With less than ten fixtures to finals, the Roar have defied their early season sceptics to produce a consistently entertaining and successful brand of football. Currently at the top of the table, the team’s success is both a reflection of the hard work and discipline of the players and the tremendous efforts of the dedicated management team. Despite well publicised financial constraints in the pre-season, the coaching and medical staff have established a football model which has significantly reduced player injury rates and minimised time away from play for those who have required medical intervention.
Tony Ganter, the club’s foundation physiotherapist, returned to the club this season as Medical Co-ordinator, and has worked tirelessly with Head coach John Aloisi, Football Director Craig Moore and Head of High Performance, Karl Dodd to expand the club’s medical program and establish an efficient and effective coaching and medical team.
“Looking after elite athletes is a big responsibility’, says Ganter, ‘I have always felt that the best sporting teams have great support teams behind them. I like to think that we have achieved that with the Roar.”
A co-ordinated group of Brisbane’s best medical and allied health professionals has been drawn together to this end. Brisbane orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Jeremy Bartlett and Sports Physicians Mark Young and Richard Brown head a team of doctors, dieticians, medical imaging practitioners, podiatrists and physiotherapists to oversee player health and fitness.
Ganter, supported by his partners at the Allsports Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine Group, has been able to supply a team of physiotherapists to care for, not only the men’s A League team but also the National Youth League and Women’s A League teams. Sep Rafiee, Head Physiotherapist to the Men’s team and Assistant Physiotherapists Michael Fernandez and Andrew Davidson are all partners from the Allsports Physiotherapy Group who have taken time away from their clinics to work with the Roar. Other Allsports Physiotherapists who have thrown their support behind the Roar are Dan Muscat, Physiotherapist to the Westfield Women’s A League team and Benn Schofield who has worked with the National Youth team.
These, not inconsiderable, resources have meant that the Roar have been able to operate under best practice protocols equivalent to those found in the more financially privileged A-League clubs.
Establishing a medical program of this depth and quality has been a mammoth project but it is a model that has been paying dividends. Injury rates have been less than ten percent on a regular basis which has maximised player availability for selection in each of the Men’s A League fixtures.