The Appliance of ScienceTuesday, 28th Jun 2011
Dunfermline's new Sports Scientist is Ross Hughes. He joins the Pars after employment in a similar capacity at Hamilton Accies.
Dunfermline's new Sports Scientist is Ross Hughes. The graduate in Physiology and Sports Science at Glasgow University went straight into a similar job at Hamilton Accies in 2005. After two seasons working with the Youth Academy there Ross stepped up to work with the first team, winning promotion in 2007-08 and experience life in the Premier League.
"It was great for me, someone who had really only experienced junior football when I was younger. I wanted to get involved in the professional game in some capacity. I never quite had the chance to make it as a player so to get this involvement was fantastic.
"It is something that I am really passionate about, something I love doing and I am really looking forward to seeing what I can do to influence success. Dunfermline is a massive club with a great set up. They have a great fan base but I hope to add wee bits here and there to help make it a wee bit better to help the players progress - bridge the gap from the First Division to the Premier League."
Ross has had the experience of the step up at Hamilton. He will monitor the players training and make sure that they are hitting the levels that they should be hitting.
"I monitor them to see if they are training hard enough. If they are not training hard enough I will put things in place so that they are hitting the levels that we expect of them."
Heart rate monitors are deployed. These set individual players heart rates and there are targets in training to know how effective the training is.
The Sports Scientist is full time during pre season but like the Goalkeeping Coach Jim Preston will be part time during the season. He will work closely with club physio, Kenny Murray with anyone in a rehabilitation situation. Strength conditioning work would extend under his remit as well:-
"I am a big, big fan of weights and strength conditioning. It plays a big part in the modern game and if I can get some of my ideas across, get the Manager and players to buy into it then I think that would stand them in good stead.
"I have a track record of trying to develop young players. There are a lot of good young players at this club as well. I have worked with James McArthur, James McCarthy and Brian Easton who have all progressed to the English Premiership and Championship. If I can help the younger players at the club progress, allow them to cope with the physicality of the game then I am all for that.
"Football is a harsh industry but if you are fortunate to do well, apply yourself in the right way then the rewards are far and great."
Hamilton's relegation meant that there was no budget to retain a specialist like Ross but he was really keen to stay involved in football. He continued:-
"The opportunity arose to come and talk to Dunfermline. Once I spoke to the gaffer my mind was made up. The training facilities are good - that was the one thing that maybe let Hamilton down. Here they are all based in the one area; stepping out the changing room on to the training field is a big change.
"I love what I do, I come into my work with a smile every day. Dunfermline is a fantastic club to work for. The people are really friendly, they let you get on and do your job. Hopefully I can deliver all the goods to bring the club on."
His Hamilton contact means he has worked with Gary Mason before but his relationship with Kevin Rutkiewicz goes right back to school where they played football together. Ross' junior career was at full back with Dalry, Beith Juniors, Benburb in the Ayrshire junior league and Cambuslang Rangers.