Life On The Job


Dr. Darren Burgess [Batchelor of Sport Science (Exercise Science)(UNSW)], PhD ACU
Former Fitness Coach for Liverpool FC; High Performance Manager, Port Adelaide AFL Club            

 

Portrait
 

"Training in sub-zero temperatures, answering to millions of fans, and working more than 70 hours a week sounds like a tough job. But as Head of Fitness and Conditioning for Liverpool Football Club in the UK, Darren Burgess is the envy of many.

The 37-year-old joined Liverpool FC following the 2010 World Cup, after having spent three years as fitness coach for the Socceroos.

 

Darren Burgess with Milan Jovanovic
Darren Burgess (left) and player Milan Jovanovic at a Liverpool FC Training camp in Switzerland.
Photo: John Powell/Getty Images.

After studying at the University of New South Wales and the Australian Catholic University - where he is in the final stages of a PhD in movement analysis - Darren went on to work with elite AFL teams such as Port Adelaide FC and the Sydney Swans.

He also worked with National League Soccer team Parramatta Power and as Head of Sports Science for the Australian Football Federation.

"I'm thrilled to be working with Liverpool. I remember when I started at uni I sent letters to every single professional football club in England, so to be here now is fantastic," Darren said.

"I'm basically in charge of the players' fitness levels and so my job is to prepare them to play hopefully 50 to 60 games a season and to prevent injuries from happening."

"We need to monitor everything from their sleep to their eating habits. Each session we know exactly how far they have run, walked, jogged, sprinted and turned, so we keep a pretty close eye on them."

"We've also brought in blood analysis techniques which we do weekly with the players, and we even use GPS tracking now so we know every step they are taking at training."

"There are a lot of challenges in my job - coping with pressure and criticism, playing 60 games in a season and dealing with players who have never seen a gym before are just a few."

Training at FC Liverpool
Click here to see an Inside Look at Liverpool FC's Training with Darren Burgess

"However it is an amazing career and my friends are certainly jealous, but it also took a lot of hard work to get here."

Darren said that while it's often difficult being away from family and friends, it's never hard to remember just why he loves his job.

"I've had so many amazing experiences - warming up the Socceroos before our first World Cup game against Germany in South Africa was a real highlight," he said.

"It's great to work with world class players. Every training session I see some amazing skills that are just superb, and working at Anfield stadium in front of 40,000 people every second weekend is not bad either."

Darren has also worked at ACU as a sports science lecturer, and said it was his colleagues who inspired him to push for greater heights.

"The people at ACU are extraordinary," he said. "Professor Geraldine Naughton is one of the most dedicated and patient lecturers I have ever met, and I can honestly say if it wasn't for her I wouldn't be tackling a PhD or working at Liverpool." (Source: InSight, Issue 3, Summer 2011).

Darren has also worked as a video analyst with the Australian Olympic Soccer Team prior to the Athens Olympics.

Darren's PhD Thesis topic is "Notational analysis and training responses in Australian Rules Football".

Want to read more: here is Darren Burgess talking with Fast4Football on Speed, strength, agility and conditioning training for athletes, trainers and coaches.

 

 

 

YouTube: The Aussie running Arsenal's high performance

https://youtu.be/9u52-DLxAnw

 

Football Clubs that Darren has been associated with:
Liverpool FC
Liverpool Football Club
Socceroos
Socceroos
Sydney Swans
Sydney Swans
FFA
Football Federation Australia

Port Adelaide FC
Port Adelaide FC
Parramatta Power

Dissolved in 2004

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