Brookes Sport's Luke Taylor at the World Cup
Thursday, 10 November 2016
Luke Taylor, Fitness and Performance Advisor with Brookes Perform, travelled with the England Women's U17 team to Jordan for the football World Cup.
This past September, Luke Taylor - Fitness and Performance Advisor at Brookes Sport - travelled to Jordan with England for the Women's U17 Football World Cup in a role as Physical Performance Coach.
To get used to the Jordanian climate, Luke wrote specific training programmes for all of the players to be able to cope with the high temperatures before preparing for the competition with a 2-1 friendly win against Canada.
England were placed in the proverbial "group of death" alongside Korea DPR (reigning Asian champions), Nigeria (African champions) and Brazil (runners-up in the South American championship).
The team took to the group well and picked up draws against Korea - the eventual champions - and Nigeria, as well as a win against Brazil, scoring 5 goals across the three games. Finishing second and progressing into the harder side of the draw, the Lionesses were knocked out in the quarter finals by Japan (who went on to take Korea to penalties in the tournament final). The players were highly praised after the loss for their sporting behaviour throughout the tournament - Setting a good example for the international senior teams!
In his role as Physical Performance Coach, Luke told us about his experiences and challenges with the team - including how to coach 21 different players who have come from different clubs with very different training regimes, as well as getting the team used to playing in a climate most of them had never experienced before, let alone in the context of an international tournament - Ice baths and recovery boots were put to good use!
Another new experience was being shadowed by a security team - to and from matches and training as well as outings during down time. In addition, the added pressure of matches being televised live threw up new considerations with many of the players experiencing this for the first time.
Luke spoke particularly fondly of being pitch-side for the national anthem, and being surrounded by teams from all across the world as he worked with England. Travelling with a personal chef (working to a menu prepared by Luke himself) was also a highlight, as was taking the players to the British Embassy in Amman to train with local high school students.
Luke also wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you to Oxford Brookes University and Brookes Sport for their continued support in his career. He is proud to represent the university at international level and is already looking forward to his next challenge.
Luke returns to Brookes Sport to continue his work with Brookes Perform, providing strength and conditioning coaching for our BUCS teams and scholarship athletes.