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Club News

Pre-Season Health Checks

16 July 2012

It is some four months since Patrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest in Bolton Wanderers game at White Hart Lane.

By David Mitchell

It is some four months since Patrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest in Bolton Wanderers game at White Hart Lane. 

Both the sudden drama of Muamba’s mid-pitch collapse and the speed and extent of his subsequent recovery stunned the football world. Pre-season training is now well underway and, as the new campaign approaches, Fleetwood Town have extended their already detailed testing programme for their own players, at both first team and youth level.   As a Football League club, it is a pre-requisite from the FA that Town carry out checks on all senior and youth players.  At first team level, this will involve two stages, a screening questionnaire and heart tests which will be carried out in Liverpool. First-team physiotherapist, Ian ‘SOS’ Liversedge, is fully behind any moves to establish as complete a health picture as possible: ‘We can detect current or potential future problems by carrying out this programme.  It’s something that should go well beyond football because none of us know what’s going on inside our bodies half the time.  The football authorities are going to introduce more extensive tests as a result of examples like the Muamba case but, arguably, national testing should be introduced beyond the game. There are potential risks for all of us but, obviously, a priority at the club is to protect the safety of our players as well.’ For Steve Carlin, Head of Youth, it is vital to leave no stone unturned: ‘This is essential, without a shadow of doubt.  Our youngsters are now playing at an elite level.  Energy levels increase, as does heart and muscle mass.  The more cover they have, the better.’ ‘Our doctor has carried out lifestyle checks and looked into past and family history so that there is a background of information on the lads.   Any injuries received will be logged so that we can build up a more detailed picture.  There will also be tests carried out at the Medical Centre.’ ‘We have to make sure that both the players and the club are covered.  The parents are fully involved and that gives us rights to contact doctors for information and pass information on.’

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