Canberra have appointed former Australian Institute of Sport director Dr Peter Fricker to conduct a high performance review of the club’s football operations aimed at gaining the Green Machine more of the game’s sought-after ‘one percenters’.
Raiders football manager John Bonasera said the appointment would be “a key component in ensuring we’re getting the best possible advice, and our players and our staff are working at an optimum level on a weekly basis”.
Bonasera said Dr Fricker would be looking at operational rather than cultural issues.
“It will be based more around sports medicine and the processes we have in relation to our strength and conditioning, our recovery, all those aspects that go to putting on our best performance.”
Bonasera lauded Dr Fricker’s experience, which includes 30 years at the AIS and work with Olympics and Commonwealth Games squads.
The club is also upgrading and restructuring its gym in the off-season to keep things fresh for the players and improving its video facilities, he said.
Dr Fricker said new Raiders coach Ricky Stuart had asked him to come in and take a fresh look at the club, and the science and medicine services providers to the players.
“Ricky said to try and take it to the next level – there’s always an opportunity to take what you’re doing up there, try and improve performances in different ways,” he said.
“It’s about maintenance of health for the athletes, the players themselves, to try and prevent injuries.”
Dr Fricker said he would also be tasked with ensuring the club is using technology appropriately, which can be a challenge or distraction for many clubs.
“That’s the challenge[trying to stay on top of technology],” he said.
“It doesn’t matter where you go in sport, that’s always the way. Everybody’s looking for the ‘one per cent’. There’s so much technology out there that can be used and the challenge is to be able to use it properly.
“I think you can waste an awful lot of money on technology, to be honest, and I think some of the difficulties clubs have is they’ve forgotten to do the basics because they keep thinking technology is going to solve their problem.
“So it gets back to getting the basics done really well, using the technology that’s available as sensibly as you possibly can. So that’s where the challenges are. And everyone keeps watching what everyone else is doing. You’ve got to sit back a bit and say ‘what’s working and why? [And] is that something we can use?’”.
The review will be conducted over the next few weeks, with recommendations to be presented to the Raiders in the early stages of 2014.