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Interview with Marcus Ward

21 December 2019

Marcus Ward is the club’s official Sports Scientist as he is equipped with the job of ensuring the side’s fitness levels are high as they fight to make it their most successful season yet.

Speaking about his role here at the club Ward said: “My role is Sports Scientist which ultimately means improving the physical performance of the players. 
“This involves getting them fitter and stronger, and trying to reduce the risk of them getting injured via warm ups, strength and conditioning sessions, and monitoring how much training they're doing.”
Ward has been at the club throughout the most of 2019 and it’s been nine months he has been grateful for. 
“My time at Forest has been fantastic. I'm very grateful to Lee Billiard (general manager) for giving me this opportunity to help out,” he explained.
“It is such a joy to work here mainly thanks to the people: as well as being good coaches, staff and players, they're all good people and I can't speak highly enough of them. 
“The environment in the team is superb; it's such a close group. 
“It helps when you win at the weekend but you can always expect a positive atmosphere at training with plenty of laughs amongst the hard work.”
Ward initially took up the role with the club during last season but after a busy pre-season the club professionalised it’s equipment and it’s a change Ward describes as ‘incredible.’
He said: “The changes have been incredible, everything has gone up a couple of levels from last season. 
“A full-time head coach, physios and post-match analysis meetings with videos from the game are just a few examples. 
“The investment from Lee and the club off the pitch has been brilliant and, coupled with the efforts of the players, such support and backing is ultimately helping at training and on Sunday afternoons. 
“We haven't won anything yet, but the future is full of potential. 
“It is a really exciting time to be involved with the club.”
With the improved backing from Nottingham Forest during the summer the club’s equipment has soared in quality and Ward states how important this investment is from the club in bettering the side’s performances.
He said: “The equipment provision at the club is fantastic. The Playertek GPS units and the In-Play video analysis are common place in professional clubs so we're very fortunate to have them to help provide feedback on training and matches. 
“They're just more examples of investment off the pitch helping performance on it.”
Due the club’s non-professional status because of the tier of football their playing in Ward only gets access to the players during their two training sessions a week and on matchday. And Ward explains how he ensures the players still improve their fitness and strength despite the lack of contact time with them.
“The players perhaps don't have as much time as professional athletes to work on their physical game but that doesn't mean we can't try and make some improvements outside of training,” he said.
“Although we encourage the players to do extra work, you have to remember that they have other commitments such as university, work and family.
“Before each training session the players have the opportunity to do some strength exercises and/or conditioning runs, and they all have strength exercises to do at home.
“If I ask them to do some running post-match or some sprints in the warm up there may be one or two grumbles but they all will do them in the end.
“We've made them aware of the importance of doing the extra work, and how it can help their performance and reduce their risk of getting injured.”

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