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INTERVIEW: A worthwhile experience

28 April 2014

Mark Gillespie on rehab at St George's Park

Goalkeeper Mark Gillespie recently spent three weeks at St George's Park undergoing the PFA residential rehab programme. We spoke to him about the visit and about how the programme is progressing now that he has rejoined the squad and is taking part fully in their training sessions.  

"I've been at St George's as part of a PFA scheme for clubs who don't have the high end range of facilities which can help with a serious or longer term injury," he explained. "I used the underwater treadmill and the hydro pool, and a range of different machines for strengthening work that we obviously don't have up here. It was really enjoyable and it's a fantastic facility. 

"I first went down there for two weeks in March and then I was booked in again last week. It's obviously a different environment and a change of scenery for me, which I think is important with a long term injury. There were other lads there who are in the same position and it is good to be able to talk to others about how they are feeling."

"Dolly and Kate [Gascoigne] have been really good with me, in terms of trying to vary my rehab, but going in the same gym every day does get repetitive," he admitted. "Being able to go down there has freshened it all up and given me a chance to speak to a lot of different people. I think it's been really useful.  

"It's definitely helped me because I've learned a lot about the injury and the reasons why it might have happened. The physios and strength and conditioning coaches down there have also told me about things I could do to prevent an injury like this from happening in the future. It's backed up everything Dolly has told me and it does help to focus your mind again."

"It hasn't made a huge difference to the time it has taken me to get back to full training, but it was definitely a worthwhile experience in terms of picking up different things that will help me in the future," he said. "The job now is to put it all behind me and kick on again so I'm ready for next season.

"I've had a good few days under my belt and it's good to working properly with Tony Caig and the lads again. It's all about being ready for pre-season and next season for me so I'll be working hard over the next few months to put myself in the best position possible."

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