Stuart Douglas joins AFC Wimbledon
as Wimbledon’s new physiotherapist.Stuart Douglas has made another addition to his backroom staff with the appointment of Neal ArdleyWe are delighted to announce that
Neal Ardley said that Stuart was the “ideal candidate” to fill the role vacated by Mike Rayner because of his experience as a player and in medical departments at several football clubs.
Stuart made almost 150 appearances in the Football League for Luton Town and also had playing spells at Newport County, Crawley Town and Dagenham & Redbridge. Now aged 35, Stuart started studying sports therapy eight years ago while he was still playing and has worked at several clubs including Southampton, AFC Bournemouth and Woking. He went onto gain a degree in Physiotherapy at Brunel University and in his last full-time job in football he was a part of Charlton Athletic’s medical team.
, Neal Ardley said: “When I looked through the CVs we had a lot of good applications, but the thing that stood out straight away was Stuart’s football background. We set the standard high in terms of qualifications, but when I looked at his football career I thought that he would have a similar mentality to me. After speaking to Stuart at the interview he came across as a physio with a modern approach; he is a man who wants to learn and is always looking for a better way of doing things.Dons PlayerSpeaking to
“When we talked about how we wanted to do things it gelled really well. Stuart has good knowledge and qualifications as a physiotherapist, but he also knows how football works. That is what a manager wants and that made him the ideal candidate.
“We have a very young and ambitious team of staff who have modern ways of doing things and we have a good mix of youth and experience among the players. Looking at the staff and their personalities I think that the players will respect them. It can only be good for the football club that we have a hungry, dedicated team of staff to add to the quality players we are trying to bring in; together we can be a formidable team.”
Neal Ardley is a young, forward-thinking young manager and his plans are similar to my own. During the interview for Dons Player, Stuart said: “This was the perfect progression for me in my career with a club that has got good ambitions to really push on. My first full day was on Tuesday and I have sat down with the medical team to discuss matters. My approach is that everyone’s opinions are important. I sat down with Jason Moriarty and told him what I think we can do to take the medical team forward. Our Sports Therapist Rhiannon Luke has also been as good as gold and I have inherited a very good team.
“During my playing career I was one of those players who always picked up niggling hamstring injuries and I always tried to understand why this was. That was the catalyst for me to move into physiotherapy and I started by studying for a Sports Therapy Diploma through the FA. It is important to make sure that we get the balance right between training and rest. Prevention of injuries is vital and it is far better to work with players on their weaknesses before they get injured. If we can minimise the intrinsic injuries such as muscle pulls and strains then we can hopefully keep players on the pitch for the majority of the season. That will give us a greater chance of success overall.”
Dons Player subscribers can now watch our full video interview with Neal Ardley and Stuart Douglas on our premium site.